The Fans Museum lends support to Sunderland tenpin bowling team

Founder of SAFC Museum Michael Ganley (middle) sponsors the partially sighted bowling team the Sunderland Spinners. Team from left with new shirts Martin Whales, Tendai Noel, Alex Ditch and Dennis Murphey.
Founder of SAFC Museum Michael Ganley (middle) sponsors the partially sighted bowling team the Sunderland Spinners. Team from left with new shirts Martin Whales, Tendai Noel, Alex Ditch and Dennis Murphey.

A tenpin bowling team for blind and visually impaired people are all set for a major competition - thanks to the support of The Fans Museum.

The Sunderland Spinners are due to compete in the National Handicap Competition for Blind and Visually Impaired People next month in Wigan.

SAFC Museum sponsors the partially sighted bowling team the Sunderland Spinners.'Team from left with new shirts Martin Whales, Tendai Noel, Alex Ditch and Dennis Murphey

SAFC Museum sponsors the partially sighted bowling team the Sunderland Spinners.'Team from left with new shirts Martin Whales, Tendai Noel, Alex Ditch and Dennis Murphey

Taking place on Friday, May 11, the tournament will see teams from across the country compete for varying trophies.

And now the group, which meets weekly to practice at MFA Bowl in the city, has been kited out for the event by The Fans Museum, who have come on board as their sponsors.

The museum, based in the former Monkwearmouth Station Museum, has been founded by Michael Ganley to allow football supporters from all over the country and even abroad to view historic pieces of sporting memorabilia.

Mr Ganley was formally handed the keys to the building at the end of last year, after council bosses agreed to let the site be used by him and his team.

Founder of SAFC Museum Michael Ganley (middle) sponsors the partially sighted bowling team the Sunderland Spinners.'Team from left with new shirts Martin Whales, Tendai Noel, spotter Kathryn Murphey,  Alex Ditch and Dennis Murphey

Founder of SAFC Museum Michael Ganley (middle) sponsors the partially sighted bowling team the Sunderland Spinners.'Team from left with new shirts Martin Whales, Tendai Noel, spotter Kathryn Murphey, Alex Ditch and Dennis Murphey

It looks set to open this summer.

The museum, also supports a variety of worthy causes in the city, including former servicemen from the Veterans in Crisis group.

Mr Ganley said: “They are headed to the finals in Wigan so we wanted to give them nice new uniforms to help give them some encouragement.

“We want to help local bowls teams and want to secure a mini bus to take the bowlers out to compete around the North East and we also want to provide a venue for groups.

“We have the wagon shed which lends itself to an indoor unit and want people to utilise the space, it would be good to do the likes of carpet bowls there.”

Kathryn Murphy, 40, from Sunderland, is the spotter for the Sunderland Spinners, who have around 12 members aged from 22 to 67.

Kathryn was delighted to have The Fans Museum’s support.

She said: “The competition is a really big deal and we are really looking forward to it.

“I took over a year and a half ago as a spotter and the team have been going for five years since 2013.

“We have been doing stuff with Michael for a while now and when I told him about the tenpin bowling team he offered to support them.”