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First Division North

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First Division North

Atherton LR v Prestwich Heys
LR's youngest kit sponsor

Mon 24th July 2017 | Atherton LR
By Ian Templeman

Like many clubs at this time of the season, Atherton LR have been advertising for businesses and individuals to take out player kit sponsorships for the coming season.

One sponsor signed up is Cillian Clarke, who will sponsor Keith Clarkson for the upcoming season.

Cillian Clarke is not the head of a local business, nor is he a full pledged ultras supporter of LR - Cillian, nicknamed “Ginge” is actually only nine years old!

The U9 Atherton LR & Tyldesley RUFC player has taken upon himself to back the club and his favourite player in it, using his very own money.

Cillian first spotted Keith’s name on a programme a few years ago when he was selected to walk out with the team in a league game.

When Cillian’s dad, Shane, saw the club's requests for sponsorships on social media, he told his son about it.

“I mentioned it to the boy, explained how it worked and helped young players, and that the clubs benefit, he asked could he do it and we said yes but he'd have to pay it himself. So he did, he's good with numbers, and saves every penny he gets!” says Shane.

Surprisingly, “Ginge” is not the only connection the Clarke family has to Atherton LR and Keith Clarkson.

“I actually taught Keith PE when he was at Plant Hill School” explains Shane. “Sadly, I didn’t teach him any football as I’m a Rugby man myself, so I don’t have any claim to his footballing skills!”

In response to the news of Cillian’s sponsorship, Keith Clarkson said:

“I’d like to thanks Cillian for his support in the club and especially in me. It’s great to see young people getting involved in the football club and I’m really happy he decided to help the football club in this way.

"In regards to the upcoming season, I’m feeling everyone’s support in the club this season is really starting the show. We’ve got a great squad and I’m ready to start the season with a bang and achieve our goals for the club, sponsors and supporters.

"I believe in myself and the team and trust that this season will be one to remember.”

Cillian will be wearing his full LR kit in the club's very first league game against Cheadle Town, where he will get his picture taken with his sponsored player and the club’s management team.

LR Media Officer Ben Reuven said: "Everyone at Atherton LR would like to thank Cillian for his support of the club, both on the field with his U9 teams, and off the field as a match goer and sponsor".


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