Airdrieonians FC and their fans pay tribute to an inspirational member of their community
Scottish League One club Airdrieonians FC have a new shirt sponsor: Their own supporters’ trust. The unusual arrangement was struck as a means of honoring Airdrie fan Mark Allison, who died from pancreatic cancer earlier in the year. And now, Allison’s face will grace the club’s kits until the end of the season as part of a “five-figure deal.”
The Trust and Club have agreed that the image of legendary Diamond fundraiser Mark Allison will appear on his beloved Airdrie shirt, a gesture everyone will see fitting. It will also be the first time in world football — as far as we know — that the image of a fan has appeared on a club shirt.
As everyone will know, Mark took great comfort and support from two local organisations — Maggies and St Andrews Hospice — and was a fervent fan and supporter of both these wonderful centres, who cared for him so well during his final months. The Trust have therefore agreed that Trackside Boards and Programme adverts — part of the sponsorship package — will go to both organisations. Programme adverts will also be given to both by the Supporters Trust, and boardroom hospitality will also be donated to both to auction off for funds. Fundraising events are also planned, and it is hoped that more club events can take place at both.
Allison’s friends and family were consulted before the decision was made and proceeds raised from kit sales will go to the charities that Allison himself raised money for before his death. As a result, an initial supply of shirts quickly sold out (for more info on how to purchase one, go here).
Hopefully this becomes a trend that even corporate shirt sponsors embrace. Using this space to celebrate deserving people is something everyone can get behind.