Beeston Juniors FC Under 14s squad have a new kit thanks to local businessman Paul Mead.
The U14s are just one of twenty teams based out of the club’s Cardinal Square base. The community football club has grown over recent years and has squads at all age groups from Soccer School for 5 and 6 year olds up to two open age teams and three girls teams.
Paul Mead, who grew up in Beeston playing for Hugh Gaitskell school and lives locally, told the boys:
“I feel extremely honoured to have this privileged opportunity to sponsor the community I grew up in. The love for the community I grew up is deep and embedded in my heart and soul.
“Looking around me, I can see you share the same love, passion and care – I have for this community, our community, the community of our childhood.
“To have my brand name ‘Paul Mead Landscapes’ on your kids’ kits is honourable.
“I know, today living in 2022, this community, you children have opportunities – that I would have loved and cherished to have. This is my way of saying: ‘thank you…’ to the community I hold so dear to me.”
Rob Hawkins coaches the U14s, he explained he’s been coaching since his son Harry was in the U6s and has moved up the age groups as his son has got older.
“First you’re a parent stood on the side, then you help train them and before you know it you’re knee deep in mud at the other end of Yorkshire” he said.
The club trains on the 4G pitch at Cockburn School during the winter to preserve the grass pitches at Cardinal Square, but that adds a cost.
“We try to keep the subs low to keep the club accessable to families and then fundraise to pay for winter training” he explained.
Will, who also coaches the squad and is Vice Chair of the club, told me that when his sons first said they wanted to play football they visited various clubs. Beeston Juniors stood out because they were told that every child gets equal playing time regardless of ability.
Archie, the team captain told me:
“Football’s a game that unites lots of people, I’ve made loads of different friends here, it’s almost like a family.”
Will also spoke about the club’s link with Leeds United, who have been very supportive over recent years. During Covid United supplied food so that the club could offer packed lunches to local children during lockdown. They also refurbished the clubhouse, which was celebrated by a visit from star striker Patrick Bamford.
Whilst you’re here, can we ask a favour?
South Leeds Life is published by a not-for-profit social enterprise. We keep our costs as low as possible but we’ve been hit by increases in the print costs for our monthly newspaper – up 50% so far this year.
Could you help support local community news by making a one off donation, or even better taking out a supporters subscription?
Donate here, or sign up for a subscription at bit.ly/SLLsubscribe