Funding boost gives historic north Leeds football club a ‘bright future’

From the archive: Old Centralians play Swillington in the West Yorkshire League Division 1 in December 2017.
From the archive: Old Centralians play Swillington in the West Yorkshire League Division 1 in December 2017.
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The long-term future of one of the city’s oldest football clubs has been secured after a cash grant from football governing body, the FA.

Old Centralians, in north Leeds, has been given a funding boost to help keep its three open-age teams open over the coming years as well as improve some dated equipment. 
The club was founded in 1925, making it one of the Leeds’ oldest football clubs, to offer the sport to people of various backgrounds and abilities in the communities of West Park, Hawksworth, Lawnswood and Headingley.

The £750 funding has come from the FA-funded ‘Retain the Game’ programme which is run by sports charity, the Football Foundation.

It aims to support grassroots football clubs by boosting their financial stability and allowing them to continue to offer the sport in their communities.

Mike King, project manager at Old Centralians, said: “We are delighted to receive this grant from the Football Foundation. We are a club with a rich history which offers football to players from all backgrounds and at all levels. This will help us continue to run three senior teams over the next couple of years as well as improve our dated equipment.”

Paul Simpson, England under-19s head coach, said: “It’s great to see the FA and the Football Foundation supporting participation in the adult male game at the community level.

“Affordability has often been identified as a key barrier, so this grant will ease the financial burden placed on clubs and allow them to concentrate on providing access to competitive football.”

He added Old Centralians can now “look forward to a bright future”.