MBNA and Chester FC will formally extend their long-running partnership for another three years on Sunday, February 28, before the club’s much anticipated derby against local rivals Tranmere Rovers
MBNA has stood alongside the fan-owners of Chester FC since 2010, when it became the principle sponsor.
Not only will MBNA continue to support Chester FC and the club’s Community Trust but it will also sponsor Chester’s Women’s team, currently playing in the Cheshire Women’s League, for the first time.
Ian O’Doherty, Chief Executive of MBNA, said: “We are incredibly proud to support Chester FC as it continues to build on its recent successes.
“The club is the beating heart of the community and we were keen to not just continue our sponsorship but look at how we could increase our support by investing in the development of the women’s team.
“MBNA is a major employer in Chester and many of our staff are regulars at the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium. It gives us all a sense of pride when we see the work the club does in schools and with members of the community young and old to provide coaching and community activities.
“To know that we have helped make that possible is really special.”
Chester FC first team manager Steve Burr said: "I am delighted that MBNA has renewed its contract as Chester FC Principal Sponsor.
“Its support of the first team extends beyond the name on the shirt. MBNA are excellent hosts for our training sessions and always approachable regarding matters that can help us be successful on the pitch.”
Thanks to MBNA’s support, Chester FC has launched walking football courses for over 55s and runs 37 soccer schools per year coaching more than 750 children during the school holidays.
Chester FC’s Trust works with two youth disability groups supporting more than 40 young people. It also provides work placements for up to 23 students from local schools, colleges and universities and engages with the public through its community day, which attracts around 800 people per season, and its two-day family fun festival Chester FC in the Park, which last year welcomed 1,300 visitors.
"MBNA have been friends and supporters of the Chester FC Community Trust (CFCCT) from the beginning,” said Trust Chief Executive Jon McCarthy. “Their advice and significant financial support has allowed CFCCT to develop a strong community programme and improve the lives of over 4,000 individuals.
“MBNA's decision to support CFCCT for a further three years will allow us to grow and deliver more opportunities for people living in Chester and the surrounding areas. CFCCT would like to thank MBNA for this amazing gesture of support."
The inclusion of the women’s team in this deal is significant. The Trust already holds weekly and monthly sessions for girls, attracting more than 150 players.
In addition to the women’s team, it also hosts 100 coaching sessions for women, with 90 players taking part.
“I am delighted that MBNA have committed to supporting Chester FC women's team for the next three years,” said manager Richard Smith. “That funding will secure this team’s future and allow us to develop further.
“We can now look at starting an under 18's team, meaning even more girls in Chester and surrounding areas can get involved. On behalf of myself and everyone at Chester FC women I'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone at MBNA for their support and belief in our team.”
For more information about MBNA, visit www.mbna.co.uk