Charity begins at home for PNE

PNE owner: Trevor Hemmings
PNE owner: Trevor Hemmings
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Preston North End believe their sponsorship deal which will see the name of two charities on their kit is an appropriate way to celebrate a historic season.

The front of PNE’s shirts will carry the Carers’ Trust logo, while the Ashton-based SPACE Centre logo is on the back of the shorts.

North End have gone down the charity route thanks to a sponsorship agreement struck with The Football Pools.

It is the Pools who have put up the finance and then donated the space on the shirts and shorts to carry the two charities’ names.

The Football Pools will have their logo on the back of Preston shirts – above where the players’ names go.

Ben Rhodes, PNE’s general manager, told the Evening Post: “With it being the 125th anniversary of the Football League and of our Invincibles winning the league, what better way to mark it than by having a sponsorship deal where two charities benefit.

“The Football Pools have acquired as a company the rights to sponsor us.

“As part of that sponsorship deal they have given up the right to put their name on the front of the shirts and back of the shorts.

“Instead they wanted to give charitable donations to two charities of the club’s choice.

“Trevor Hemmings is very actively involved in Carers’ Trust, and we asked Sir Tom Finney through his son Brian, which charity he would like to support locally.

“Sir Tom is the patron of the SPACE centre and we have been talking to them recently about fund raising and how we can help.

“So we’ve got a national and a local charity, both of who will be presented with a cheque on the pitch before a home game in August.”

The new logos will be carried on North End’s three Nike-manufactured kits in the 2013/14 campaign.

Saturday’s friendly against Liverpool will see the team wear the new home strip, with the second and third kits released in due course.

The charity sponsorship deal replaces the three-year agreement with Tennent’s which has just ended.

Rhodes said: “We weren’t certain until relatively recently whether or not Tennent’s wished to extend. Over the summer we spoke to 20-30 companies about shirt sponsorship.

“We had proposals from three of them towards the end which we actively considered, but we think the deal we have done says something about us.

“There are certain areas of business currently prepared to put money into football which would be a very different scenario in terms of the type of industry they are in.

“The fact we have managed to pull something off where two charities benefit is something we are very proud of.”

The SPACE centre on Pedders Lane caters for young people and adults with physical and learning disabilities.

Centre manager Alison Shorrock, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that North End and The Football Pools have chosen to help us this season.

“SPACE is committed to expanding its services to meet the ever increasing need of those with disabilities, their families and their carers.”