The Swiss company which is building the new Metro train fleet has agreed a sponsorship deal with Whitley Bay Football Club.
Stadler’s support will allow the Bay to set up a team for kids aged 13 and under, underlining the train builder’s commitment to the local community in North East England.
Two of Stadler’s employees - Ronald Farlow and Wayne O’Brien – will be devoting their spare time to establishing the U13s team for the Hillheads Park outfit.
It was Ronnie and Wayne who approached the business, explaining what they hoped to do, and asking whether Stadler could help finance the initiative. The two of them will run the team and both have 12-year old sons in the squad.
With the Stadler logo on their shirts for the first time, the team are playing a few friendly games and a tournament over the coming weeks, ahead of the start of the league season in September.
Ronnie said: “I am Delighted to have Stadler sponsoring our brand new team. I’ve lived in the area now for nearly 20 years and football here in the north east is the very heartbeat of the community.
“To give children an opportunity to be part of this is what makes coaching football so special. Sponsorships such as this from Stadler allow the kids to all be kitted out with brand new strips and gives them the feeling of belonging to something special. I am looking forward to the season ahead and introducing Stadler into the local area.”
Wayne added: “This is a fantastic opportunity to provide local children with an environment conducive to furthering their development, on and off the field, which wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of Stadler. I’m eagerly anticipating the start of the season, and looking forward to sharing our journey, and hopefully some successes, with Stadler.”
Rob Baxter, Managing Director for Stadler in the UK, said: “We’re genuinely keen to play our part in the local communities our trains serve, so when Ronnie and Wayne made us a proposal to sponsor a football team for children, it didn’t take us long to work out that this was a great idea for everyone. We will be watching their progress avidly and wish them all the very best for the coming season.”
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages the Metro, awarded a contract to Stadler to manufacture its new fleet of 42 trains for the Tyne and Wear Metro, and build a new £70m depot at Gosforth to accommodate them and maintain them for 35 years.
In October 2020, Stadler became responsible for maintaining the current Metro fleet.
The new trains, which will be 15 times more reliable and will cut energy consumption by 30%, will have modern features including improved internet connectivity, charging points, air conditioning and a step-change in accessibility.
Among new features will be an automatic sliding step at every door of the new trains, making travel easier for Metro’s 50,000 wheelchair passengers as well as people with children’s buggies, luggage or bicycles.
Find out more about the new Tyne and Wear Metro fleet at www.nexus.org.uk/newmetrotrains