Accountants on the ball

Playing away has taken on a whole new meaning for a boys’ football team on the other side of the world, thanks to a Leyland accountant.

For Paul Newsham, managing partner with Haines Watts Chartered Accountants and also a board member at Preston North End, has donated a full set of away strips to SAP Football Club on the Caribbean island of Antigua.

Through holidaying in Antigua, Paul has established links with SAP, which is based in the village of Bolans and is one of the country’s biggest clubs. The club initials SAP stand for ‘Spirited, Attitude and Performance.’ Established in 1979, SAP FC now boasts seven teams with the senior team having enjoyed 17 consecutive years in the Antiguan Premier League.

Since 2010, Ken Gregory, the club president, has channeled his efforts into youth development aiming to bring through a fresh breed of players to continue the club’s dominance. In 2012, the U13s won the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association Championship.

Paul said: “The kids out there love their football, they have bags of enthusiasm but they don’t have much in the way of resources. It’s one of the biggest clubs on the island but talking to officials it was clear the kids could do with some help. North End had kits available and were happy for me to arrange a handover.” The boys of SAP FC are now playing matches, home and away, in North End’s distinctive yellow strips. It’s fair to assume the grateful squad now also count themselves amongst Preston’s growing global fan base.