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May 23, 2021

Normanby United FC Demonstrate Resilience

A lion features on the crest of community football club Normanby United but after a tough two years of setbacks and rebuilding, a phoenix would be more fitting.

In 2018 the North East England-based club was left reeling after a devastating fire tore through their ground at Easton Park School leaving them with no facilities.

Since then the community has banded together around the club to ensure it rises from the ashes and continues to provide an outlet for kids in the area to indulge their passion for football.

The pandemic has thrown another hurdle in the way of Normanby’s rebuilding efforts. But they’re not ready to give up yet.

“The fire was a really devastating setback for our club,” said club chairman Tony Keogh.

“All of our facilities were destroyed by the arsonists. And it’s part of the conditions of the league that we have a toilet and running water so it brought everything to a halt.

“After that it was about making the best of it and making ends meet. We put a deposit down on a container to be used as changing room, put a temporary Portaloo in place and now we’re looking at getting cabins for a more permanent fix.

“But it all costs money and there are planning permission issues too. So we’ve all been trying our best with fundraising and just keeping things moving.”

The school ground has now been taken over and Tony has reached an agreement with the new owners to secure funding and work together.

But with a whole community behind them they’ve also been embarking on their own fundraising efforts as parents and players all got involved.

“We’ve got seven teams from seven to 14-year-olds playing at that ground and they’ve all got behind our fundraising,” said Tony.

“We’ve done sponsored walks, bag packing before COVID, raffles amongst the parents, just anything we can really.

“We’re a non-profit club, nobody gets paid for what we do and we’ve probably got the cheapest subs in the area. But we still have outgoings like kits, equipment, registration of players and insurance. It all comes at a cost.”

Normanby, like most sports clubs, have been hit hard by COVID-19. They’ve had to restrict the training sessions and spend extra money to ensure their makeshift facilities are COVID safe.

Tony is now looking towards GiveToLocal for additional support with his club’s fundraising efforts: parents of players kept winning our Kitlocker voucher giveaways and the club’s chairman was keen to find out more.

“I couldn’t believe that I’d won - I was buzzing,” said parent Lisa Joyce.

“One hundred pounds is huge for a club like ours. We went from having great facilities to having nothing at all so it all helps.

“It’s great what GiveToLocal are doing. It helps a lot of teams like ours to get things like kits and winter base-layers. It’s absolutely brilliant.”

To find out what GiveToLocal could do for your club visit www.givetolocal.com/clubs