Blyth Spartans announce exciting plans for mural of club legend Robbie Dale at Croft Park
Blyth Spartans have announced plans to honour the career of club legend Robbie Dale with a mural to be placed outside of their Croft Park home.
A group of supporters fronted by Simon Needham are working in conjunction with the club to fundraise for a mural of the Spartans stalwart that has been designed by renowned Sunderland-based artist Frank Styles.
Styles produced several stunning murals of Sunderland legends Jimmy Montgomery, Kevin Phillips and Raich Carter and will now add North East non-league legend Dale to his impressive catalogue of work if Spartans supporters can reach their £5,000 target.
The Spartans stalwart scored 212 goals in a club-record 680 appearances during a 15-year career at Croft Park and was named as the second greatest player in Northern Premier League history behind Leicester City and England star Jamie Vardy.
Dale helped Spartans to two Northern Premier League titles, two Northumberland Senior Cup wins and appeared in the FA Cup third round on two occasions, scoring twice against Championship club Birmingham City in a 3-2 defeat in 2015.
He is widely recognised as one of the greatest players never to have played professional football and became synonymous with the green and white of Spartans before he announced his retirement last year.
Spartans have also reaffirmed their commitment to holding a testimonial match for Dale once supporters are able to return to Croft Park in a safe environment.
But for now, all focus will be on fundraising towards the mural that will be painted on to the side of Gino’s Fish Bar, which is situated at the Plessey Road end of Croft Park.
Supporter Simon Needham said: “I think a lot of fans think that we need to do something extra special to thank Robbie for his years of service to Blyth Spartans.
“The idea of the wall mural came about after seeing the work of Frank Styles around the North East and also the involvement of a group of Spartans fans taking part in a project to create a mural of footballer Patrick O’Connell in Belfast.
“We just thought that a wall mural would be a fitting, lasting tribute to Robbie and give something back to the Blyth area too.
“We have to also thank Shad Saleem, the owner of Gino’s Fish Bar for kindly donating the wall space.
“Shad has been behind the project from day one and it’s in the perfect location, right next to the Plessey Road entrance of Croft Park.”