Scunthorpe mark Donegal link with new kit
A Donegal football fan is making a big impact on a League One soccer club based in North Lincolnshire.
Bernard Griffin from Ballybofey has long been championing the cause of Scunthorpe United, affectionately known as ‘The Iron’.
He established the club’s Irish supporters club ‘Irish Iron’ 20 years ago and recently Scunthorpe acknowledged his contributions by announcing a special commemorative third kit ahead of the 2014-15 season.
United’s third kit for next season will be green with white shorts and green socks – replicating that of the Irish national side.
Irish Iron was founded during the 1994-95 season and has members worldwide. All money raised from membership fees, sales of their own range of merchandise/ fundraisers goes to Scunthorpe United as kit sponsorship, especially for the Irish players.
Scunthorpe United currently has three Irish players at the club: Paddy Madden, Eddie Nolan and Niall Canavan.
From humble beginnings the supporters club has grown to a position where they donate over £1000 stg to the club each season and members from Ireland attend many games home and away throughout every season.
“We are delighted to announce that the third kit for next season will be green as a way to recognising the support of the Irish Iron over the past 20 years,” said club chairman, Peter Swann.
The Iron’s Commercial Manager, Michelle Harness, said that all funds that Irish Iron raises though their own sponsorship are invested back into the club through kit sponsorship. “Commercially we would all like to thank Bernard Griffin for his input and suggestions for putting the shirt together,” she said.
United manager Russ Wilcox has a long association with the Iron stretching back to 1997 when he first joined the club. Since retiring from playing Wilcox has been the club assistant manager and now the manager.
Bernard Griffin said he was delighted that Scunthorpe United had decided to commemorate their 20th anniversary by unveiling this new shirt.
“It’s great to see the Unity badge return to our kit as well and I believe this will be a massive hit with the supporters. I would like to thank Michelle and everyone at Scunthorpe United for making this possible. The Iron’s new third kit will have one major difference on the chest compared with the other two kits from this season.”
The Football League has granted United special dispensation to use the old Unity badge, which was used between 1982 and 1990.
Underneath the Unity badge there will be some stitching saying ‘Irish Iron, 20 years’ which celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Irish supporters club.
United will open their 2014-15 Sky Bet League One campaign in the new third kit away at Swindon Town on Saturday, August 9 and it is hoped that it’ll be on sale on prior to the start of the season.