Gainsborough Sporting Club celebrates 40 years of fundraising

SPORTING GESTURE -- a typical cheque presentation by Gainsborough Sporting Club as chairman Dave Belton (centre) hands over �500 to Geoff Holmes (left), director of Gainsborough Trinity Football Club, watched by Hull City legend Dean Windass.

SPORTING GESTURE -- a typical cheque presentation by Gainsborough Sporting Club as chairman Dave Belton (centre) hands over �500 to Geoff Holmes (left), director of Gainsborough Trinity Football Club, watched by Hull City legend Dean Windass.

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In Olympic terms, it’s been a journey that has spanned Montreal in 1976 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

And what a journey of fundraising it has been for Gainsborough Sporting Club, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

For 40 years, the organisation has been raising money and making donations to sports clubs and individuals in the Gainsborough area.

No wonder it is so proud of its motto, ‘Helping to fund the young sports stars of tomorrow, today!’

The likes of Gainsborough Trinity Football Club and many sportspeople who have gone on to enjoy success have been given a helping, funding hand along the way by the Sporting Club, which first got off the ground at a meeting that was held on March 1 1976.

Taking the chair was John Davies, and alongside him were vice-chairman George Johnson and secretary Ken Marsden. A full committee was elected, including Messrs Cawthorne (treasurer), Foreman, Booth, Baumber, Lobley, Jones and Fox, while former international cyclist, Jack Tighe, who would have competed at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki but for a bout of polio that forced him to retire from the sport, was invited to be president -- a post the acclaimed businessman went on to hold for 30 years.

At the meeting, the general aim of the club was established -- to hold functions to raise money to support local sporting causes, from Trinity to the Golden Gloves Boxing Club. The distribution of funds would be at the discretion of the committee.

Over the years, these functions have evolved into a familiar format of gentlemen’s black-tie sporting dinners, featuring an array of guest speakers. The first was Yorkshire and England cricketer John Hampshire. Others have included bowling legend Fred Trueman, cricket umpire Dickie Bird and boxers John H.Stracey and Earnie Shavers, and all have been supported by a range of comedians and entertainers.

The theme has continued this anniversary year, with ex-footballer Chris Sutton lined up for the latest dinner tonight at the Weston Rooms on Hickman Street.