A CELEBRATED Bolton author and a former Wanderers skipper have come together to donate more than £40,000 to help build a new grass roots facility in Horwich.
Writer Rick Banks, who grew up in Egerton, has received plaudits for his debut work, Football Type, and decided donate the entire £22,400 profits from the sales of the book to Horwich St Mary’s Junior FC, with the help of the Football Foundation charity.
Also offering a generous donation was former Whites captain Kevin Davies, who is giving £20,000 to the club, through his Kids of Bolton charity.
Horwich St Mary’s home ground at Scholes Bank Playing Fields has historically suffered from drainage problems as well as overuse and poor changing facilities.
These donations, coupled with a 13-year fundraising campaign by the club — which has raised a £250,000 — will see the creation of three natural turf pitches and a new clubhouse to replace the leaking shipping containers youngsters currently get changed in.
Davies, who played for Bolton between 2003 and 2013 and is now a Preston North End player, said: “There aren’t many good facilities in Bolton and during the winter months a lot of games get called off.
“But with better drainage facilities and a new clubhouse that won’t happen here.
“This is exactly what we had in mind when we set up the foundation and its really nice to be in a position to help this club.
“A lot of credit goes to the club because they have been relentless in realising their ambitions.”
Rick Banks, who runs design firm Face 37 in London, wrote his book to celebrate his love of typography in football and the 1,000 limited edition copies sold out within three weeks.
He said: “I have always been obsessed with typography in football, looking at shirt numbers and things like that but it was amazing that so many people wanted to buy the book.
“I wanted to do something for my hometown with the money made and hearing the story about St Mary’s and their 13-year battle made this project perfect.”
Leslie Allon, secretary and trustee of Horwich St Mary’s added: “These kids deserve better facilities and the club has worked really hard to raise money.
“It was unbelievable to hear that both Rick and Kevin would be donating this money to get us over the line — we are so grateful and humbled by their generosity.”
Work will officially begin on the project at the beginning of April.