A FOOTBALL club is looking to a brighter future as it celebrates the switch-on of its new floodlights tonight.
Boldon CA will stage a friendly against Blue Square Premier side York City at The Welfare Ground, Boldon Colliery.
The match has been organised to mark the club’s first game under new floodlights, and it will be a happy occasion for officials after £4,500 of electric cable was stolen from the ground by thieves in January.
The Wearside league outfit had spent the last five years saving up the £24,000 needed for the lights, and officials were devastated by the theft, which delayed the switch-on.
Club secretary Bryn Griffiths said: “Everyone is really looking forward to the night. It is finally happening.
“Folk at the club are working on all the finishing touches to make sure everything runs smoothly.
“We’re now just praying that the weather is going to stay fine.”
The lights will be named The Sam Bartram Floodlights in honour of the former Boldon miner who playing for Boldon before going on to make 800 appearances for Charlton Athletic between 1934 and 1956.
Bartram, one of England’s best-loved stars, also played 75 times for York during the last war and was manager there from 1956 to 1960.
The lights will be turned on by Sam’s daughter Moira Bartram, who’ll be arriving from Canada.
Ms Bartram will be joined by Mike Blake, author of the book Sam Bartram, Goalkeeping Legend.
Mr Griffiths, from Marsden, said: “Moira was one of the first people to donate to our floodlights fund, and she comes over every year to watch the teams play for the Sam Bartram Trophy, so it’s lovely that she’ll be able to help us mark this occasion.
“It’s going to be a great match and I hope lots of people come along to watch. I would just like to say a massive thank you to everyone who made this possible, and to York City for agreeing to play us.”
The game kicks off at 7.30pm and features York manager Gary Mills and ex-Sunderland striker Craig Russell.
House builder Bellway has provided hoarding to go around the pitch.
Admission costs £3 for adults and £1.50 for under 16s.