Prime Minister Rishi Sunak meets Thornbury Town chiefs as club is given award for community work

THORNBURY Town’s top brass met the Prime Minister as the club received an award for its community work.

The club was nominated by Thornbury & Yate MP Luke Hall as his Community Champions for its work to promote grassroots football development and expand the women’s and girls’ game in South Gloucestershire. 

Club chairman Pete Webber and vice-chair Graham Smith were invited to 10 Downing Street in late March as the MP’s guests, to meet Rishi Sunak and people from 50 areas around the country who were being recognised for the valuable work they do in their communities.

Pete said: “Being invited to a reception in Downing Street to meet the Prime Minister was a day we will never forget. This nomination was a proud moment for the club and everyone associated with it.”

Describing the experience as “surreal”, Pete and Graham stressed that the award was “very much in recognition of the hard work that all the committee, coaches and members have contributed to the club over the years as it has grown from strength to strength”.

The club has a junior membership of more than 300 and senior membership of over 100, with over 20 teams comprising boys, girls and seniors.

It was the club’s concerns over finding more pitches for junior teams to train on that brought them into contact with their MP, as they have been trying, so far without success, to persuade South Gloucestershire Council, Bloor Homes and FirstPort to let youngsters use two full-sized football pitches at Thornbury Fields development, which are currently fenced, locked and unused.

The club needs new space as green space at the back of the Castle School Sixth Form, where training and some junior tournaments are held, is set to be developed.

Luke Hall said: “As a local man I was delighted to be able to recognise the hard work of Thornbury Town as a key local organisation.

“They are an excellent community club and have done so much to develop the game here in South Gloucestershire. I look forward to seeing the club grow and will be working with them to ensure they receive the support they need.” 

Thornbury are currently on the lookout for volunteers to help out on home match days.