Clarets ace backs the Blues after grassroots award

Double celebration: Clarets midfielder Dean Marney at Victoria Park, and, inset, Marney with Burnley teammate Michael Kightly and Nelson chairman Fayaz Ahmed
Double celebration: Clarets midfielder Dean Marney at Victoria Park, and, inset, Marney with Burnley teammate Michael Kightly and Nelson chairman Fayaz Ahmed

On the back of their North West Counties First Division championship success, Nelson have further cause for celebration.

The Blues have won up to £5,000 to give their Victoria Park pitch a makeover as part of a UK-wide grassroots football campaign.

The prize was awarded as part of credit card company Capital One’s ‘Grounds for Improvement’ programme, which strived to improve the condition of football pitches up and down the country.

A judging panel featuring a number of experts, including former Burnley striker Ian Wright and Britain’s oldest Sunday League footballer Derek May, selected Nelson and 10 other clubs from across UK amateur grassroots football. The nationwide search, which strived to improve the condition of football pitches up and down the country, attracted more than 1,000 entries from clubs and community pitches across the UK, further demonstrating the national need for investment in grassroots football.

Fayaz Ahmed, Chairman of Nelson FC said: “We’re hugely grateful to Capital One for the £5,000 donation.

“This amount of money goes a huge way at this level and will help the club for years to come.

“We’re going to spend the money renovating our stand and hospitality suite, with the aim of it all being completely by the Accrington Stanley friendly fixture in July.

“The club has a rich history and over recent years it has begun to lose its link with the community, but we’re hoping that promotion and our success in Capital One’s Grounds for Improvement scheme will rebuild that.

“It’s exciting times at Nelson FC.”

Clarets midfielder Dean Marney, on hand as the prize was awarded, added: “It was good getting the opportunity to visit Nelson.

“It was the first time I’d had the chance to come here and it seems a great club.

“Clubs like Nelson are the lifeblood of football in this country, and anything that can be done to safeguard their future should be applauded.

“That’s why the Capital One, Grounds for Improvement scheme is so important, and having spoken to the chairman, it’s clear the £5,000 is going to have a really big impact. With promotion and the donation it seems like they’ve got a really bright future.”

Jaidev Janardana, Chief Marketing Officer at Capital One and judge, said: “With over a thousand entries, selecting our winners wasn’t easy but Nelson are very deserving of their prize.”