Accrington Cricket Club celebrated an historic sponsorship deal with a community celebration.
Former club player and England cricketer David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd joined with more than 100 school children to mark the three-year deal with Accrington-based letting agents Property Shop.
The ground on Thorneyholme Road will now be renamed the ‘Property Shop Arena’ and club bosses and staff said the deal will bring a ‘new lease of life’.
Year three and five pupils from Peel Park Primary School and St Mary Magdalen’s Primary School were invited to take part in the celebrations and enjoyed a fun-filled afternoon of activities and games.
Lloyd said: “This will give the cricket club a new lease of life and make it a focal point for the community.
“People know that I come from Accrington and played for Accrington Cricket Club. It gives me a great sense of pride to see the cricket club doing so well. What a great afternoon.”
James Hayhurst, first team player, said the sponsorship deal will make a ‘huge difference’. He said: “One of the main things the sponsorship money will buy is a coach for our junior players.”
Property Shop managing directors Steven Chippendale and Jamie Allen are from Accrington and hope the deal will attract more fans and investment to the club.
Steven said: “This is a great day for us. Seeing our name up there gives myself and Jamie a great sense of pride.
“It is a brilliant space in the heart of the community that needs to be used. I also hope this can inspire other local businesses to get involved with local clubs and events.”
School pupils were transported to the ground on Pilkington buses and were given an ‘introduction to cricket’ by All Stars Lancashire Cricket club and students from Accrington and Rossendale College.
Alison Padgett, headteacher at Peel Park Primary School, said the students were ‘thrilled’ to take part.
She said: “They have had so much fun. The sports session and games with All Stars and Accrington Rossendale College have been the highlight.
“I bet all of them will be going home begging to come back. It is also great to see local leaders getting involved. The cricket club is a brilliant space and we need to utilise it as a community.”