“You can’t beat Shields, they’re part of the union”
The town is continuing to unite behind South Shields FC as they bid to reach Wembley.
Unison’s South Tyneside branch, in Westoe Road, South Shields is the latest organisation to show their support for the team as The Mariners prepare to play the first leg of their FA Vase semi-final against Coleshill Town on Saturday.
They will travel to the Midlands with more than 300 supporters in tow – and thousands more eagerly awaiting updates back at home.
The union office has decorated its windows with a good luck message for the Mariners, as well as the club’s logo.
Branch secretary Janet Green said: “It’s a massive thing for the town and it’s nice to have something really positive to talk about, instead of all the doom and gloom.
“Some of the branch officers go to the games and we’re all right behind them.
“We’re very positive about the team’s chances and hope they can go all the way.
“We’re fully in support of them and are wishing them the best of luck with not just Saturday’s game, but all of their endeavours in the rest of the season.”
After Saturday’s first leg, the return match will take place a week later at Mariners Park.
The prize for the winners will be a place in the final of the competition at Wembley – which would be South Shields’ first appearance at the national stadium.
The demonstration of support for Unison follows hot on the heels of similar gestures from Westoe Travel and Westoe Taxis.
Graeme Brett, who runs family-owned Westoe Travel, called on more organisations to show their support with window decorations after unveiling his display last month.
That call to arms has now been heeded by Unison, which represents more than 3,000 workers in South Tyneside, including support staff at South Tyneside Council and at schools across the borough, as well as those in the voluntary and private care sectors.
Janet added: “Some of the branch officers go to the games and we’re all right behind them.
“This is fantastic for South Shields.
“I would hope more and more people will get behind them and give the lads their support, which is well deserved.
“We want them to know that the full town is behind them.”