Club which set Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe on road to stardom becomes a charity

Luke Donockley and Jermain Defoe.
Luke Donockley and Jermain Defoe.
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A grassroots football club which honed the talents of Black Cats star Jermain Defoe has earned its charitable status thanks to support from a North East law firm.

Volunteer-run Senrab Football Club, based in London, says it has laid the foundations for a brighter, stronger future by becoming a charity with help from Muckles LLP.

The move, which was overseen by Muckle’s sports lawyers, will bring with it security and a number of financial benefits for the club which has seen 150 boys come through its ranks to go on to play professionally, including the likes of England internationals John Terry, Ashley Cole and Ledley King.

Muckle’s Luke Donockley undertook the legal work associated with incorporating the club into a limited company and applying for charitable status, which was completed for free in acknowledgement of the firm’s long-standing relationship with the famous club.

Last year, experts at Muckle helped Senrab FC secure funds through FIFA’s solidarity mechanism - which allows youth football clubs to benefit financially from the international transfer of former players - following Defoe’s moves from Tottenham Hotspur to Toronto in Canada and then on to Sunderland in 2015.

Tony Carroll, club secretary, said: “We’re extremely grateful to Muckle for their guidance and support over the last few years.

“The level of knowledge and expertise of the team really is second to none and they continue to go above and beyond to help secure the future of our club.”