A top trailer maker has pledged to stick by Wrexham AFC as it battles a massive financial crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
At the reveal of the new kit, Ifor Williams Trailers were unveiled as the main shirt sponsor for the fifth season running – whenever the 2020-21 campaign gets going.
The fan-owned club lost £250,000 in match-day income when the National League ended prematurely because of the Corona virus.
News that the iconic company’s distinctive logo will be on the front of all the home and away shirts once again for the men’s, women’s and youth teams was described by the club as a “huge boost”.
This time the logo is woven into the fabric of the shirts rather than being pressed on and an image of the Mold Road stand has been embossed below it.
The green away shirt is a replica of the home shirt from 100 years ago.
According to club director Gavin Jones, he couldn’t thank Ifor Williams Trailer enough for its continued support at such a difficult time.
He said: “It’s really is a huge deal for the club. Ifor Williams is a massively successful North Wales company that has once again stepped up to the plate in backing the football club.
“When the going gets tough you find out who your friends are and Ifor Williams Trailers is a true friend to Wrexham AFC.
“It’s now up to the club to push on and get back into the Football League where we belong.
“Normally clubs will bring in a bulk lot of shirts and then print the logos and sponsors name on them but this year we have home and an away shirt we can be really proud of.
“These are the first bespoke designs we have had and the depiction of the Mold Road stand is embossed almost like a hologram on the lower shirt. They are incredibly smart.
“We simply have no idea as yet when the new season will start. It could be September, we just don’t know anything concrete at the moment and we can’t say when fans will be allowed back into stadiums.
“For clubs at the bottom end of the football pyramid that’s huge. We have already lost in the region of £250,000 in lost match-day income. Unlike Premier League clubs we don’t have TV millions to fall back on.
“We have had to furlough full-time staff, including players, and have launched a fund-raising campaign, Unite to Save the Town, which will run for three months. We do have some financial reserves but those are being eaten into.
“While everyone at the club knows how difficult it is fundraising during difficult times such as these, we have also committed to help Nightingale House Hospice and the NHS North Wales charity Awyr Las.
“Each will receive five per cent of everything raised through the Unite to Save the Town campaign to each. By helping the club with their donations supporters will also be helping these two amazing charities too.”
The shirts were designed by Tim Williams, 48, from Bala, a self-confessed Welsh football fanatic and Wrexham fan who turned his passion into a successful business he calls The Spirit of 58, a nod to Wales’ appearance at the 1958 World Cup.
He said: “I’m a big Wrexham fan and go to as many games as I can. It’s more difficult now to get to every game as I have a seven-year-old daughter although she was with us in France in 2016, aged three, for the Euros as Wales were there.
“I was asked to come up with some ideas for the design of the new home and away shirt and I’m really happy with the result.
“For the away shirt we decided to go back in time and it’s based on the club’s shirt worn between 1919 and 1921 so the design is actually vintage.
Wrexham FC club captain Shaun Pearson, 31, a tough tackling defender who has been the club for the past three seasons, says the commitment shown to the club by Ifor Williams Trailers as main sponsors is “amazing”.
He said: “The world’s an uncertain place at the moment and the economic outlook isn’t exactly rosy. So, to have a successful North Wales firm like Ifor Williams come supporting us in this way gives us all a big boost.
Shaun, who chalked up 34 appearance last season before the campaign’s premature end, added: “The aim has to be to come out of the blocks flying when the new season starts, whenever that may be, and get promoted.
“A club like Wrexham should be playing at a much higher level and the backing of a top company such as Ifor Williams Trailers will make that task just a little bit easier.”
Also at the reveal were three members of staff from the trailer company, Ellie Roberts, Matthew Smith and Robert Tudor.
Production operative Matt Smith, 22, from Brymbo, near Wrexham, was thrilled to be there.
Matt said: “I went to my first match with my grandad when I was 10. The atmosphere was brilliant and we beat Boston 3-1 to stay in the Football League.
“I started going to the home games with my grandad over the following few seasons and then started going with my mates to the away games. For the past few seasons we’ve been to pretty much every home and away game.
“There’s been quite a few ups and down – more downs really but I am definitely sticking with them.
“One of the best moments was going to the FA Trophy final and one of the worst moments was losing to Newport at Wembley.
“Being involved in at the reveal is a dream come true – it’s something I have never experienced before.”
Fellow fan Ellie Roberts, 21, from Cynwyd, who works in the despatch department in Corwen, was equally delighted to be part of the occasion.
She said: “I first started supporting Wrexham when I was about 14 and I would go on the bus to Wrexham with all my mates and spend the day there and watch the football.
“It always makes me feel very proud to see the Ifor Williams Trailers logo on the front of the shirt and I’m very pleased the company is continuing with its support for the club.”
Richard Hughes, the Human Resources Manager at Ifor Williams Trailers, is also a Wrexham fan.
He said: “We have a lot of die-hard Wrexham AFC fans working at Ifor Williams Trailers, including season ticket holders and Wrexham Supporters’ Trust members.
“The club is going through an extremely difficult time at the moment and the lost match-day income has been a big blow.
“We wanted to reaffirm our commitment to the club in these uncertain times because as a community-based club their ethos is a great match for our vales at Ifor Williams Trailers.
“The club has a brilliant track record for youth sport with the boys and girls teams, and also for disabled football, which is another reason we are proud to partner the club again this year.
“The fact that Wrexham is such an inclusive club, was key element in our decision to continue with our sponsorship.”