The turnstiles may still be closed but Gretna FC 2008 are still keen on highlighting the positives of the ‘Beautiful Game’ as they compete in the Scottish Lowland League.
The Raydale Park side have agreed a deal with leading anti-discrimination campaigners Nil by Mouth which will see players war the charity’s logo on their shorts at grounds across the county. The charity will also have advertising boards placed at the ground highlighting its message that there is no place for discrimination in football.
The partnership has been arranged by Annandale East and Eskdale Councillor Archie Dryburgh who secured the funding from Dumfries and Galloway Council to help support local football in the area as well as promote the work of one of Scotland’s leading equality charities. Last year Cllr Dryburgh was awarded an MBE for his unstinting work in the community and veterans. Gretna have not been able to have any fans in through the gates since the new season launched in October due to Covid19 Restrictions. It is hoped the sponsorship deal will help support the club through the difficult winter period along with the hope that Dumfries & Galloway can move into tier 1 of the Scottish Government restrictions which could see up to 300 fans allowed back into grounds.
Nil by Mouth Director Dave Scott said:
‘We’ve always been made very welcome at Gretna and are delighted that our logo will be on the team strips as they compete in the Lowland League this season. The positive role that football can play in terms of raising awareness of racism and discrimination can be seen through the success of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign and we are pleased that the club will also help get our message across. We are also hugely grateful to Archie for his support over recent years for our work which has seen us not just work with the football club but local primary schools, allowing us to work with pupils to think about attitudes, actions, language and how they can support people from every walk of life who might be facing discrimination.’
Archie Dryburgh added:
‘We are living through remarkable times and there are huge challenges for sports clubs and charities working in Dumfries and Galloway. Working together is key to getting through Covid and I am hopeful that the funding I’ve secured for this partnership, which will the charity in turn investing in advertising at the ground, will help support Gretna through this very difficult period whilst the club can’t have fans in the ground. Hopefully, soon we will be in a position to safely welcome supporters back to Raydale Park and the team will continue its recent encouraging form on the park.’