Bolton Wanderers have signed a multi-million pound five-year deal with Westhoughton-based recycling giants Toughsheet to become the new stadium sponsors.

Billed as the most lucrative naming rights deal in the club’s history, the ‘TS Community Stadium’ will come into operation at the end of this season, following the expiry of the current arrangement with the University of Bolton.

Toughsheet are the largest dampproof membrane manufacturers in the UK and have received national and international recognition for their work in plastic and waste recycling.

The Bolton News: Dougie MercerDougie Mercer

Now employing more than 70 staff at their site at Chequerbent Works – also the largest plastic recycling facility in the country – Toughsheet believe the link with an upwardly-mobile Wanderers can help them become a nationally recognised brand.

“We are really looking forward to it,” said managing director, Doug Mercer, who has followed the club’s fortunes all his life.

“We did a lot of sponsorship with Wanderers in the 2000s but, to be truthful, about the time of Dean Holdsworth and Ken Anderson I’d just become disillusioned with football, never-mind Bolton. I switched off completely.

“I’d kept an eye on it from afar and when Sharon Brittan and Co came in I just thought ‘here we go, another who’ll milk it and run it into the ground’ but almost immediately I like what she was doing. She was trying to put it on a sound footing.

“When she banned gambling at the stadium, I liked that. It was one of my pet hates and it showed they had a bit of ethics. I’d had so many friends in the past who’d had addictions and it caused so many problems.

“So, we started watching the way they were running it. Things were being done properly and she won’t let it get into financial difficulty, like 80 per cent of other clubs are at the moment.

“I kept my eye out and then heard the stadium name was coming up. I wanted to have a go at it because, as a company, we need name recognition. There is a double bonus in supporting the club and getting our brand out there to the rest of the country and world, really.

“It is a multi-million pound deal and it is one we are really proud to do.”

Mr Mercer is well aware that the company’s risqué name might raise a few eyebrows across the fanbase and in the footballing world in general.

“I’ve said to Sharon, we’re happy to have a bit of fun with it,” he said. “Obviously the brand name is a bit tongue-in-cheek, a bit schoolboy humour.

“But I can’t wait to see them try and make each other say it on Sky Sports, it’ll be a great laugh!”