Shankly Hotel sponsors Sir Tom Finney Preston Soccer Centre

The new £15M Shankly Hotel Preston which is due to open in June of this year, has confirmed its first major sponsorship ahead of its opening in 2019.
The Shankly Hotel Preston has confirmed it is to sponsor the Preston based community football charity the Sir Tom Finney Preston Soccer Centre.

The deal was negotiated following discussions between Christopher “William Shankly” Carline, the Grandson of Bill Shankly OBE and Peter Mason BEM Founder & Chair of the Sir Tom Finney Preston Soccer Centre.

The sponsorship will see the Shankly Hotel Preston sponsor and support STFPSC to assist in the development of grass roots community football across Preston. The STFPSC was set up as a non profit making community soccer project to provide high quality FA charter standard football and coaching for able bodied and disabled children and adults. The project was the brainchild of Peter Mason – a former Police Chief Superintendent with the Greater Manchester Police and his wife Kathleen Mason, who in 2015 was recognised for her work with the centre as the FA/McDonalds “Volunteer Of The Year.”

The sponsorship is a key part of The Shankly Hotel’s commitment to the local community across Preston under its CSR (corporate social responsibility) mandate. The ethics and values of the hotel are those very same qualities and traits which the legendary Bill Shanklywas renowned for and held dearly throughout his playing and managerial career.

Peter Mason BEM and Chair of the STFPSC said: “It is a great accolade for the charity, that a new business in Preston, one that carries the name of a football legend, has seen fit to sponsor us. The Shankly name obviously compliments Sir Tom Finney very well, given their long standing friendship, mutual respect and admiration for each others sporting achievements as footballers and icons of the game. So it is truly fitting that these two legendary names should be at the forefront of supporting grass roots community football here in Preston where it all began for them at Preston North End.  We look forward to a long and successful future working with the Shankly Hotel.

He added: “The trustees of the charity, that include Brian Finney – the son of Sir Tom Finney, are very grateful for the support that the Shankly Hotel Preston and Signature Living are providing to us, support that will allow us to secure our present provision of football coaching to the diverse communities of Preston but also to develop further new areas of provision.”

The announcement is the second time that the Shankly Hotel – and family of Bill Shankly – have partnered with the family of Sir Tom Finney CBE, to create a unique association that embodies the spirit of the gam( and one which celebrates the legacies of these two icons of the game.

The two families came together last year when the family of Sir Tom Finney agreed to house a permanent football memorabilia exhibition at the Shankly Hotel in honour of the late Sir Tom Finney CBE and Bill Shankly OBE.  This will also allow guests the rare privilege to see first hand, unique items of memorabilia from their respective careers. Many of these unseen items include Sir Tom Finney’s OBE and his CBE, the Freedom of the City of Preston scroll and silver casket, his army wartime football medal, testimonial programme, Preston North End shirt signed by Sir Tom Finney CBE and the 1950’s boots endorsed by Sir Tom Finney CBE.

Brian Finney, son of Sir Tom Finney and trustee of the Sir Tom Finney Preston Soccer Centre (STFPSC), said: “To have the Shankly Hotel Preston sponsoring the Sir Tom Finney Preston Soccer Centre is excellent. To bring two iconic Preston footballing legends names together for the good of the community of Preston, can only be good news. My father and Bill Shankly represented a bygone era of football that was established on mutual trust, respect and admiration for each other as players. Most importantly they were Gentleman and statesmen of the beautiful game.  Football can be a power for good, one that bonds people through camaraderie and sportsmanship regardless of ability or disability. I look forward to this partnership growing to the benefit of ‘football for all.”

The former Grade II listed post office building which is 114 years old will be transformed into a luxurious 65 room boutique hotel, restaurant, bar and spa breathing new life into this iconic building. Following the hotels announcement of its opening last year it has been inundated with bookings for rooms, weddings and conferences as far into 2023.

The Shankly hotel will feature memorabilia from Bill Shankly’s legendary career at Preston North End, complete with photographs, unique items of nostalgia connected to his playing and managerial career.

Co owner of the Shankly Hotel and Grandson of Bill Shankly OBE Christopher “WilliamShankly” Carline, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be sponsoring the Sir Tom Finney Preston Soccer Centre (STFPSC). This sponsorship is of particular significance to us because of the importance that both Sir Tom and my Grandfather attached to the support of grass roots football in the community.   It was the very essence and embodiment of their respective values that each held dearly, namely that football should be accessible to all regardless of ability, social class, creed, or age.

Supporting a wonderful initiative like the STFPSC is precisely what the Shankly Hotel is all about, family, community and being inclusive. Peter Mason, the trustees and a large team of volunteers  have done truly amazing work with the charity and we are delighted to be supporting Peter with such a brilliant charity and cause. It’s also a personal honour to be working with Brian Finney to share his experiences and those of his father ”

Carline added: “Together with Finney family we aim to make the Shankly Hotel Preston one of the top football themed hotels and experiences in the UK creating something very unique for football fans and to continue the legacy that the National Football museum first established in Preston.  For me the greatest honour will be to see the legacy of Sir Tom Finney CBE and my grandfather Bill Shankly OBE celebrated for their achievements and the values that they stood for both as gentlemen and footballers and which truly made football the beautiful game that it is today.”

Credit to Business Lancashire for this story.

John Nicoll

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