Cricket club bowled over by cash grant from betting firm

Eppleton Cricket Club groundsman Kevin Galley, left, and club secretary Jeff Park with the new water machine.
Eppleton Cricket Club groundsman Kevin Galley, left, and club secretary Jeff Park with the new water machine.

Members at a Wearside cricket club are celebrating after it was handed a cash grant to buy much-needed equipment.

Eppleton Cricket Club in Hetton was selected to receive a £750 donation from Cash 4 Clubs, a scheme run by online sports betting company Paddy Power Betfair.

Eppleton Cricket Club groundsman Kevin Galley, left, and club secretary Jeff Park with the new water machine.

Eppleton Cricket Club groundsman Kevin Galley, left, and club secretary Jeff Park with the new water machine.

The club is one of a number of community clubs enjoying a summer bonus this year and has spent the money on pitch care equipment.

The charitable scheme is open to all sports clubs in the UK and has given out more than a quarter of a million pounds to local sports clubs since its inception in 2008.

Grants officer and club member Richard James was delighted when he found out their club was amongst the 2017 winners.

He said: “Eppleton Cricket Club is delighted to receive this donation from Cash4Clubs.

“Sports clubs like ours are keen to maintain our facilities for the benefit of the local community.

“This year we have hosted a range of community events including local coaching with Eppleton Academy Primary School, Durham Cricket Board disabled coaching sessions, a ladies day and a primary school cricket festival with the support of Hetton School.

“Anyone involved in grassroots sport in the UK will know that it’s not always easy, so a donation like this is absolutely brilliant news for our members.

“We plan to spend it on a rain removal machine which will go a long way to ensuring our clubs thrive in the future and will ensure we get the game on.

“I would urge any other clubs to apply to Cash 4 Clubs when the next round of funding becomes available in the summer of 2018.”

Naomi Totten, spokeswoman for Paddy Power Betfair, said: “We’re delighted to continue our support for Cash4Clubs for the ninth year in a row.

“Sport is an integral part of building healthy and happy local communities and investing in grassroots facilities is incredibly important.

“Sport is the lifeblood of our company and we are proud to support it at all levels, not just professional and elite levels.

“We hope this year’s carefully selected clubs make the most of their Paddy Power Betfair grants and that they will help them on their way to achieving their goals.”