A non-league club has netted a new sponsor.
Bedlington-based healthcare provider Alcyone Healthcare has made a generous donation to the Northern League Division Two club Bedlington Terriers.
The deal will see the company become the club’s main supporter, which includes providing new strips for the first team for the rest of this season and next year.
Alcyone Healthcare – set to open residential care home and day care facility Baedling Manor in Bedlington by the end of the year – stepped in after learning that financial backing from US business tycoon and honorary club president Bob Rich had come to a natural end.
Bedlington Terriers FC club secretary Ken Waterhouse said: “We had previously been very fortunate to have had the generous donations from Bob Rich of which we are very grateful and would like to sincerely thank him for the support he has provided the club to date.
“Sometimes these things come to a natural end so we are overwhelmed that Alcyone Healthcare has come in at the right time to donate both time and money into supporting their local team and we are delighted to be associated with them.”
Darren Taylor, managing director at Alcyone Healthcare, said: “As a business, we are very community focused and believe it is important to help support other community elements within Bedlington.
“Bedlington Terriers has been a long-established club so we were keen to help support it however we can.”
Mr Taylor, from Bedlington, said the donation was also very personal to him following the Terriers’ first team and their supporters raising over £1,000 for a local Cancer charity back in 1994.
“When I was 29 I was diagnosed with Cancer,” he said. “After receiving treatment and making a full recovery, a friend of mine who played for the Terriers, Darren Neale, offered to have all of his head shaved to support me and raise money for a local cancer charity.
“After a cup final match held at Croft Park in Blyth, he had his head shaved in the middle of the pitch, in front of the Terriers team players and supporters. Following the game we had a collection around the players and their supporters. I remember feeling completely overwhelmed by their generosity when we raised well over £1,000 for the charity.
“As a young lad whose hair meant everything to him, to have it all shaved off in order to support me felt very humbling. The kindness of the other players and supporters is something I have never forgotten so I am personally delighted that Alcyone Healthcare is able to give something back to help the club and the wider community.”
The multi-million pound care facility Baedling Manor is set to officially open in December.
It will provide the highest level of residential and dementia care for up to 50 residents as well as providing a dedicated communal area on the ground floor to encourage and promote regular opportunities for social interaction for both residents and the wider community.
The care home is creating up to 60 jobs injecting up to £1m pounds into the local economy.