South Shields FC all kitted out... thanks to a 10-year-old

From left to right, South Shields FC player Julio Arca, kit designer Ashton Defty and manager Jon King with the club's new away shirt.

From left to right, South Shields FC player Julio Arca, kit designer Ashton Defty and manager Jon King with the club's new away shirt.

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A 10-year-old has ensured South Shields FC are all kitted out for the new season after designing the club’s new away strip.

Ashton Defty, 10, won a competition open to primary school pupils across South Tyneside to design the kit.

Julio Arca models the new South Shields FC away kit, designed by 10-year-old Ashton Defty.

Julio Arca models the new South Shields FC away kit, designed by 10-year-old Ashton Defty.

It was launched at a special event held at the club’s home ground, Mariners Park, with Ashton kept in the dark as to whether he had won until some of the Shields players walked into the room wearing his kit.

Ashton, of Stanhope Primary School, saw off competition from well over 160 entrants across South Tyneside, and also has his name printed on the sleeve of every shirt.

The Mariners’ commercial manager, Alisha Henry, has praised Ashton’s efforts in designing the kit.

She said: “It was a very tough decision for the club to choose a winner, because so many great entries came in.

It was a very tough decision for the club to choose a winner, because so many great entries came in

Alisha Henry

“Eventually, we narrowed it down to a final few, and Ashton’s design was the one we went for in the end.

“We think it’s a great design and one which truly stands out, and the players all seem to be impressed and looking forward to wearing it as well.

“We surprised Ashton and his family a bit as well by printing his name on the sleeve of the shirts, which ensures no one will ever forget his involvement.

“We’d like to say a massive thanks to everyone who entered the competition – it was fantastic to see how many entries came in and we really enjoyed seeing them all.”

Shields will compete in Northern League Division One this season after winning the Division Two title last time out.

They kick off their competitive season today, when they travel to Marske United in the FA Cup.

The new away shirt is available at a price of £30 for adults and £25 for children, although stock is now running short, such has been the demand for it so far. To buy it or place an order, call 0191 454 7800 or visit Mariners Park.

Meanwhile, the club has revealed that it will begin to serve carvery on Sunday, August 21.

The ground’s opening times are set to be changed with the imminent opening of a 3G pitch, with the opening date of that expected to be announced soon.

The carvery, meanwhile, will begin with an introductory offer of £5 per person on Sundays between 12pm and 5pm, as well as weekdays between noon and 2pm, and 5pm and 9pm.