Welsh Premier League Champions, The New Saints, backed a national anti-knife crime campaign led by Shropshire’s British Ironwork Centre prior to their pre-season friendly versus English Sky Bet Championship side, Birmingham City.
The campaign, which aims to deter youths from carrying and using knives or other weapons, was promoted by both TNS and Birmingham during the encounter at Park Hall Stadium. Both teams wore the British Ironwork Centre’s ‘Save a Life, Surrender Your Knife’ campaign t-shirts during the pre-match warm up and observed a minute’s silence prior to kick-off.
The Centre was delighted with both teams’ support and thanked the players, staff and management of both clubs. Clive Knowles, Chairman of the British Ironwork Centre, said ‘We are extremely grateful to all at TNS FC and Birmingham City FC for their outstanding support. It has been tremendously helpful in raising awareness of our campaign, and has meant a great deal to the families whose lives have been affected by this tragic topic. Sport, and in particular football, has a vital role to play in the community and can really help us to reach out to young people.’
The New Saints’ Community Foundation Officer, Niall Broe, was pleased to offer support and said, ‘Everyone associated with both TNS FC and the Community Foundation are delighted to back the British Ironwork Centre’s ‘ Save a life, surrender your knife’ campaign. Pictures were taken with families that have experienced knife crime first hand. We hope that, as a football club, we can encourage more football clubs to become involved and support the good work the British Ironwork Centre’s team is doing. We look forward to future events and helping to raise awareness still further. The campaign will hopefully reduce the number of incidents that occur both locally and nationally.’
The Centre’s Campaign team will this week visit the Home Office’s Tackling Crime Unit, together with members of five families affected by knife crime, to obtain their support having already gained the backing of the Association of Chief Police Officers on a national level. The campaign’s first knife bank will be officially unveiled to the nation’s media in Birmingham on August 22nd.