Port of Blyth and Blyth Spartans have celebrated the latest anniversary of a very special relationship after another victory in the Evo Stik Premier League marked the Port’s 20 year partnership with the club.
Whilst the team were beating Frickley Athletic 5-1 at Croft Park, off the pitch staff from both the club and the port were toasting a sponsorship arrangement that stretches back to the 1990’s and that club officials believe may be unrivalled in non-league football.
Blyth Spartans’ Chairman, Tony Platten, said: “As a club we’re delighted to have been able to rely on Port of Blyth’s support for so many years. In non-league football such loyalty is virtually unheard of and reflects the commitment that the port clearly has for the club and the community of Blyth”.
As a Trust Port, the Port is an independent organisation – neither privately nor publicly owned, and instead serves a wide range of stakeholders including the community, which led to the formation of the partnership in the first place.
“When first considering the sponsorship all those years ago”, says Port of Blyth Chief Executive Martin Lawlor, “I very much had in mind the importance of supporting the community around us, and a partnership with Blyth Spartans was a natural fit. Both the club and the port were – and of course still are, institutions in the town. Both our fortunes – on good days and more challenging ones, like many towns and cities particularly in the north, are often reflected in the mood of the town.”
Whilst both organisations have endured challenging times in the twenty years together, the future is looking very bright for the football club and the port. As the club prepare for life in the National League North next season, the Port is also riding high having engineered a second record financial year in a row in 2016 and is now regarded as one of the fastest growing Trust Port’s in the country.