FROME Town are taking on the enviable challenge of spending £50,000 on improving their ground after winning a national competition with the Football Pools.
Former Manchester United midfielder Lee Sharpe was at Badgers Hill on Wednesday to hand over a cheque to the Robins, who were one of only two clubs chosen from over 100 hopefuls thanks to community development officer Gary Collinson’s winning application.
Old Trafford hero Sharp told the Wiltshire Times: “You can’t get a better job than coming to a football club and handing over a cheque for £50,000.
“I’ve been to a few amateur clubs and £50,000 is a huge amount of money to a club like this, to help with the dressing rooms, the dugouts and the stands. It’s fantastic.
“I understand that non-league clubs have to raise their own money and I think that the Premier League clubs should dip in with a bit of theirs sometimes too.”
Frome have 90 days from January 7 to spend their cash boost on improving the club.
Chairman Jeremy Alderman was delighted with Frome’s windfall and also revealed that the Aldersmith Stadium could soon have a new name after Urban Stadium donated new dugouts, worth around £8,000, to the Robins.
“It’s the biggest thing that’s happened to the club off the pitch and it’s fantastic,” said Alderman.
“I still can’t believe that we’re one of two clubs in the whole country and this should push the club forward on and off the pitch.
“The challenge is now to spend that money.
“We have a wishlist but we need to go through that now.
“The team has had two promotions in three years and we’re always trying to catch up with the ground but it would be nice to get ahead of that.”
Last Saturday, Frome brought a run of five games without a win in the Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division to an end with a vital 1-0 victory at Arlesey Town, courtesy of Dave Gilroy’s second-half winner.
But on Wednesday night, goals from Mike Perrott and Darren Jeffries were not enough to prevent Darren Perrin’s side losing 3-2 at home to Bedford Town.
The Robins travel to mid-table AFC Totton tomorrow before they host Bideford on Boxing Day.
That clash at Badgers Hill could see the swift return of Ben Wood, who rejoined Devon side this week.
Lee Sharpe was speaking at the launch of The Football Pools 90 Day Community Challenge at Frome Town FC. For more information, or if you would like to get involved with the 90 Day Challenge through donating time, funds or materials, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Play The Football Pools at www.footballpools.com.