Durham City AFC scores Park as sponsors

We speak with Mark Barrigan, Regional Business Development Manager at our Durham branch.

I am delighted the Durham branch is supporting Durham City AFC on its 100th anniversary! As a company, we are very community focused and branches are encouraged to put forward suggestions for causes to help. My nephew, 17-year-old Harry Marley, is in the team and I became aware the club was looking for sponsors. I approached my branch manager, Stephen Pinny, who was also keen for us to become a programme sponsor and ground board sponsor.

This is a great boost for Harry as scouts take notice that there is support and confidence when players have the backing of a sponsor. The club is also hosting networking events throughout the year which we are looking forward to attending. To give some background to Durham City AFC, it was established in 1918-19 and played in what was the old Victory League, formed in celebration of the end of the First World War. It later joined the North East League where it finished fifth in its first season. Switch to the present day and the club now plays in the Northern League, division 2.

It is home to some well-known and much-loved North East icons, with former Newcastle United player, Olivier Bernard as its owner and Kevin Keegan as honorary life member. Tony Stubbs, sales and marketing manager at Durham City AFC, said: “We are delighted that Park has become a club sponsor and this is a great boost for Harry. We rely on donations and sponsorship, it is crucial to the survival of the club. We all do it out of a love for North East football and nurturing talented youngsters. Our focus is on being a feeder club for other leagues and all players from our under-18s to our reserves, get a chance to impress by having a trial for the first team. We currently share a ground with Willington AFC and our aim is to get our new ground ready in the year ahead whilst solidifying our place within division two. We have the experience and wisdom of the likes of Olivier Bernard, who was keen to put something back into football here at Durham City. It is our 100th anniversary and this is a big achievement. We are proud of our Durham roots and we are ready and raring to go for the season ahead.”