Spennymoor Town FC’s Chief Executive and Manager have been honoured for “Services to the Township and Community of Spennymoor” by the Town Council.
Bradley Groves and Jason Ainsley have been working together at the helm of the club for almost a decade and were celebrated at a November ceremony praising the successes in the area over the last 12 months.
Aside from the obvious benefits of success on the football pitch for the team, which is now playing at the highest level in its history and is the highest-ranked club in County Durham, the pair have also been behind other socio-economic benefits for Spennymoor.
The re-opening of cherished local pub The Moors Tavern (formerly The Salvin Arms), increasing visitor numbers to the area, more spending in local businesses, football training and safeguarding for more than 300 young people in the area are all recent triumphs stemming from the club’s growth.
Mr Groves said: “It’s an honour to be recognised for the work we’ve done with the club and in the area. There has been a lot of blood, sweat and tears gone into the running of STFC off the pitch as well as on it. So we’re pleased that the Town Council perceives the club as the asset to the Town that we’ve strived to make it.
“Average attendances have increased by more than 600% in the last eight years and things like our relationship with the Spennymoor Foodbank and the Heel and Toe Charity have helped us embed the club in the heart of the community.”
Jason Ainsley, First Team Manager, said: “When Brad came on board at the football club I was impressed by his vision for what he wanted us to become, which is a feeling that everyone else who’s joined the club since has echoed.
“We’re getting there now and we’re seeing benefits beyond what happens on the pitch on a Saturday.
“I’ll never forget the scenes when we paraded the FA Vase through the town. It was incredible to see so many people there to support us. Things like that are why I’m so proud to be representing Spennymoor up and down the country on a weekly basis and I’m personally thrilled to receive an award for it.”
Ian Machin, Spennymoor Town Mayor, said: “It’s a privilege and a pleasure to present scrolls to Bradley and Jason on behalf of Spennymoor Town Council and recognise the tremendous achievements made by Spennymoor Town Football Club under their leadership.
As well as achieving huge success on the pitch with 3 promotions, 11 trophies and significant ground and facilities improvements, the town has been fully engaged throughout, having the club embedded at the heart of the community.”