Barnoldswick Town’s goalkeeper has made the save of the season after the future of the football club was confirmed at a meeting on Monday night.
It was nearly a case of a good night for the Silentnight Stadium club, but funding allowing the team to finish this season’s games was raised in a last ditch effort by keeper Lyle Davy after he approached Pendle businesses to help.
New sponsors Euravia, Innova Solutions, Barnfield Construction, Cloud1990.com and Mitchell Interflex have stepped in with the £4,000 required so the semi-professional side can complete its remaining North West Counties league fixtures thwarting the threat of the final whistle being blown.
At Monday’s meeting, the board more than doubled in size, and the original five members will concentrate on the football aspect of the club with the new seven recruits focusing on commercial activities.
Barnoldswick Town Secretary Lynn James is hoping for a rosier future. She said: “How we have grown as a club has been astounding.
“From our humble beginnings in 1972 we’ve managed the football side of the club but because of our size we now need a separate team to come in and look after our commercial interests.
“The players have been so supportive, and everyone has been really positive about this news which will see us in a strong position going forwards.”
Mr Davy, who worked with Coun. Paul White, said: “I asked Paul to come down to the club when I first knew of the difficulties we were in, and there and then we made the commitment to go away and raise the money to get us out of immediate difficulty.
“The local business community has been so supportive, their help has secured our position to continue to play at the standard of football we deserve to.”
A raft of players have left the Barlick club within the last 12 months and that, combined with poor weather meaning postponed games, dwindling attendances and costly ground improvements incurred as part of a promotion push have left the club suffering financially.
The club has also suffered the loss of two stalwarts in the last couple of years with the deaths of former chairman Alverley Ashworth and kit man-cum-handy man Jack Sharples who were down at the club almost every day volunteering.
Club volunteer Chris Whale said: “People don’t realise what a fantastic set up this is. Visiting teams come and say ‘wow, what a place you have here’.
“The club has grown from playing on council pitches up through the leagues. I don’t think people know we play in the FA Vase and FA Cup competitions. And it’s all down to volunteers.”
The commercial team board members will be headed by Mr Davy and Coun. White, who will be joined by Anne Wolfenden, Director of Cloud1990.com, Georgia Robson of publicrelationnation.com, and a team who will focus primarily on engaging the club with the community.
Anybody wishing to volunteer or become a sponsor should contact Paul White at firstname.lastname@example.org