Emirates FA Cup partner Budweiser has rewarded the unwavering dedication of Sholing FC, who previously failed to reach promotion due to the condition of the club’s facilities, with an incredible £100,000 grant.
As part of the Club Futures programme Budweiser runs in partnership with The FA, and the brand’s long-standing support of grassroots football, the grant will go towards re-pitching the team’s ground, building a new clubhouse and ultimately enabling them to reach their true potential.
Dave Diaper, Sholing's manager and one of the longest-serving bosses in non-league football, led his team to promotion in 2014. But, due to the ground’s conditions, the Boatmen took voluntary relegation – stopping them from progressing further up the league.
Over the years, the club has seen financial backing for fixing up their Universal Stadium home ground fall through and, as a result, their facilities have been unable to meet the more senior league’s requirements. With the help of Budweiser’s £100,000 grant, Sholing plan to start improvements to their clubhouse, changing rooms and general infrastructure.
Sholing's members and supporters gathered at the club’s local pub as captain Bryon Mason disclosed the six-figure grant. Bryon has a close relationship with the club and manager Dave, who took him under his wing as a youngster by offering to train him up as an electrician as well as awarding him a place on the team.
This is beyond our wildest dreams- Dave Diaper, Sholing manager
"During my 18 years as manager I’ve always fought for club funding so the boys can get the promotion they deserve, and not be held back by our poor facilities.
"We didn’t expect such a huge donation, and will be forever grateful to Budweiser and The FA for helping make our footballing dreams – and those of the community – come true."
As the official beer of The Emirates FA Cup, Budweiser set up the Club Futures programme in 2011. Supported by the FA, the programme has invested over £1million into non-league football to date.