4 March, Middlesbrough/London.
Lionsraw is delighted to launch its first ever UK Legacy Project, bringing several organisations together in a community partnership to secure the long-term future of Cleveland Juniors FC.
The project will include securing the club’s long-term future with a 25 year asset transfer lease from Middlesbrough Council for Mill Hill pitches in Acklam. After years of using storage containers as changing rooms the project will also involve the construction of a new clubhouse for Cleveland Juniors on this land. The building project will be completed in time for the new season in August 2014.
The partnership to find the club a permanent home and guarantee its future was brought together by Lionsraw, a movement which mobilises football fans to use their love of the sport to make a difference in the lives of others. The idea for the project first came about during a Lionsraw Legacy Tour to South Africa in 2010. It includes the Football Foundation, RWE Dea, Middlesbrough Council, Sport England, PX Limited, Applied Integration and North Riding FA.
Jon Burns, CEO and Founder of Lionsraw said, “Following our work at football tournaments away from home, it became apparent that we needed to deliver something in the UK. What better way than a project based in the heart of Middlesbrough where Lionsraw was born. Finally we are able to create chances for change both at home and away.”
Michelle Rush of Cleveland Juniors added, “Our late chairman, Frank Rush, dreamt that the club would be at the heart of this community. This project will help the club to grow and enable it to continue to offer its ground-breaking free academy; ensuring its long-term commitment to the children and young people of Middlesbrough.”
Adam Johnson, Legacy Project Ambassador, Sunderland AFC & England, also backed the project, “As an ex-Cleveland Juniors player, I am delighted that Lionsraw and its partners will preserve the ongoing legacy of this great club and its future players.”
Dirk Schoene, Managing Director of RWE Dea UK said, “As an oil and gas company active in this region we are proud to support the Teesside community, in particular, Cleveland Juniors Football Club. The Lionsraw Legacy Project is a great opportunity for us to make a sustainable contribution to the local community.
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, added, “I am delighted that a Football Foundation grant of £268,000 will secure the future of Cleveland Juniors FC with a permanent clubhouse and land to continue its pioneering work in the Teesside community. In partnership with the North Riding FA, Lionsraw and Cleveland Juniors have worked extremely hard to secure this funding from the Football Foundation.”
About Cleveland Juniors FC
Cleveland Juniors was formed in 1985 was quickly grew to being regarded as the largest junior club in the North East. It has seen an incredible 39 former players turn professional including England international, Adam Johnson. The club fell on hard times following the death of its founder, Frank Rush but was saved by a Facebook campaign in 2010 and has grown rapidly since. It offers the only free football academy