Wanted: Shire partner for one-year deal

Steve Ford, chief executive Parkinson UK and Tony Ford chairman East Stirlingshire FC agreed this season's deal
Steve Ford, chief executive Parkinson UK and Tony Ford chairman East Stirlingshire FC agreed this season's deal

East Stirlingshire are to carry on giving by continuing with its charity of the year idea into the 2014/15 season.

The club is in advanced discussions with fundraisers with at least one good cause to take over from Parkinson’s UK, which has been the club’s inaugural charity partner.

Shire chiefs have been delighted with the amount of cash and awareness raised for the Parkinson’s charity and also impressed with the amount of goodwill generated. An announcement of the new charity the club will work with is expected within the next few weeks. “For a small club like the Shire to be involved with a big national charity like Parkinson’s UK has been a great experience,” said club secretary, Tadek Kopszywa. “We have raised considerable sums of money and, just as importantly, some much-needed publicity for the disease and we hope to continue to do that next season with a new partner.

“The idea of a charity of the year was very much to put the club at the centre of community initiatives. Football is about much more than what happens on a Saturday afternoon and more people are recognising that,” he said.

The partnership will work on much the same lines as it has over the past year with the charity being allocated one of the sponsorship spaces on the Shire’s blue third kit, with a donation made for every replica sold.

There will also be awareness-raising days at Shire games and fundraising events throughout the forthcoming season.

“Negotiations with a new partner are very well advanced and we will be making an announcement in the next three to four weeks,” said Tadek. “The relationship with Parkinson’s UK has been fantastic. They have been great people to work with and we hope we have been able to meet their expectations from the working relationship.”

The club will also be launching a search to find a new major sponsor for the shirt which will bear the name of the new charity partner. The remaining sponsorship slots are being put up for raffle with the first prize being the main front of jersey sponsorship.

Entries to the raffle cost £240 and, for a fraction of the normal cost of such a sponsorship, businesses will get the chance to participate in the club’s exciting charity venture.

“Companies realise now how important it is to have community links,” said Tadek.

For a preview of the Shire vs Clyde match on Saturday, see www.falkirkherald.co.uk.