Shadow minister takes Robins role

Shadow Secretary of State for Education Angela Rayner MP is the new patron of EVO-STIK League Ashton United's community charity.

The MP, pictured, was unveiled as the new patron of Ashton United in the Community at Hurst Cross on Bank Holiday Monday before the Robins hosted Buxton in the EVO-STIK League's top flight.

Based at the stadium and working closely with the EVO-STIK League Premier club, Ashton United in the Community provides volunteering opportunities for local people to improve their skills, confidence and both mental and physical health and well-being. Several volunteers have moved into full-time employment having gained valuable experience in the football industry.

The Robins told fans they were thrilled to have one of the country's most high-profile MPs on board supporting their work in the community in a club statement released before the 3pm kick-off.

A spokesman said: "Ashton United is delighted to announce that Angela Rayner MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education, has accepted an invitation to become Patron of the charity. As local Member of Parliament for Ashton, Droylsden and Failsworth, Angela takes a keen interest in the local community and is supportive of efforts by local people to improve their lot."

Predicting a bright future for her local club's community arm, the MP said: "I am thrilled to have been asked to support this relatively new charity. AUITC is providing a valuable pathway for local people to make a difference in their neighbourhood, not only through sport but also in the wider context of community capacity building. I can see a rosy future for the organisation."

Ashton United in the Community's treasurer, John North, said: "The football club has, for many years, supported the people of Hurst and District. In 2016 Ashton United in the Community was constituted to formalise the community engagement by the football club and extend the reach beyond sport. With Angela’s support, we believe we can go from strength to strength."

Formed in 1878 Ashton United is one of the oldest football clubs in the world and the first football club in Greater Manchester to enter the FA Cup. Hurst Cross is the second oldest continually played on stadium in the world.

Images courtesy of @AshtonUnitedFC/Twitter

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Where next?

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Log on for six of the best! After nine stations covered the action around the EVO-STIK League on Saturday, fans can tune into live commentary from six more matches on Bank Holiday Monday.

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