AN amateur football club is raising a glass or two to a beer company tonight after scoring a £50,000 lifeline.
AFC Blackpool on Jepson Way, Squires Gate, has been awarded the cash from the £1m Budweiser Club Futures programme, supported by the FA.
The club will use the money to refurbish its clubhouse and kitchen to allow it to be used for functions and hopefully generate income for the 16 teams it supports.
Club vice-chairman John Sanderson told The Gazette: “We literally jumped for joy when we heard we won.
“It means the difference between having to do all the repair jobs ourselves or being able to hire a builder.”
Club treasurer David Tebbutt added: “To win this grant is a truly special feeling.
“Of course the money is a huge bonus, but the real reward is being able to make the facilities more attractive for the community, allowing us to host more social functions.
“This new space will provide us with additional revenue opportunities, which is great for everyone involved with the club.”
Bosses are also in with a chance of winning an additional £100,000 Super Grant following a vote by football fans on Facebook which starts on January 28.
The £50,000 was handed over by former Burnley and Bolton manager Owen Coyle who was acting as ambassador for Budweiser and the FA and Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden.
Owen said: “This really is a proper community football club.
“They have so many teams and are bringing on the youngsters from the age of four, which makes it a real family club as all the parents and grandparents come to support the kids.
“I am delighted for them because the people here clearly put their heart and soul into it and have worked so hard.”