Businesses in Oswestry certainly answered the call, as they turned their shops green and white to support The New Saints in their UEFA Champions League campaign.
The competition to design the best shop front, running in conjunction with the Oswestry Advertizer over the few weeks, saw a number of fantastic entires from a wide selection of businesses, so the task of choosing the winners was certainly a difficult one.
TNS FC Foundation’s Wayne Greenshields and Luke Barry went around town last Friday, to pick the three winning entries.
In first place, winning two complimentary JD Welsh Premier League home season tickets, was The George Pub. As you can see from the image below, a number of TNS shirts made up the centrepiece of their display.
“I decided to take part in the green and white competition because I like to support the local team,” said Sally, the pub’s landlord.
“With TNS playing in the Champions and Europa Leagues, it’ll be good advertising for the club and good advertising for us as well.
“The items that make up our display were donated by Luke and Wayne from the team, so I decided to put it all up in the windows so it stands out to passers by near the marketplace.
“We’ve had lots of people impressed with it and quite a few have have said that it’s the best one that they’ve seen.”
The runners-up also put together an impressive display, winning them four standard tickets to our next European match. That was Lawrence’s Newsagents.
Jenny, who works at the store said:
“We entered as we support TNS quite well and have some of our bosses’ children playing football in the club’s Academy set-up. It’s good to get the word out about the game and what they’ve got going on.
“We’ve got a very lovely girl named Gabby who’s sorted our window display, designing it and putting it all up.
“She deserves all of the plaudits for it – she’s done such a fantastic job.
Third place was given to Liberty Travel, who win four complimentary hospitality tickets to a JD Welsh Premier League game of their choice.
“At Liberty Travel, we do all of the planning for The Saints as part of their European adventures,” said employee, Helen.
“We thought we’d get behind the club and enter the competition. Hopefully it can spur them on to make further progress in Europe.
“The items in our window display came in a kit that was provided to us and some of the other items, like the football and goalkeeper gloves, have come from home.”
The idea for the competition came from TNS’ fan engagement manager, Wayne Greenshields, who wanted to see the whole town turn out to support The Saints.
“The Champions League should be the biggest thing happening in Oswestry and I think everyone in the town should be getting behind the club,” he said
“This competition was a chance to and get the whole town involved and I think it’s been really successful. It’s the first year we’ve tried it and we’ve got to work in perspective.
“If it was Manchester United, Liverpool or Arsenal there’d be hundreds and thousands of shops taking part, but we’ve had maybe 15-20 take part in some capacity.
“When we went out to judge it, we had seven to eight great entries that we had to dwindle down to to three and for me that’s a success – it’s positive that we had a problem picking a top three.
“Thank you to all of the businesses who’ve taken the time to cut, stick and put up things in their windows. Hopefully some of them will keep their stuff up for the remainder of our European campaign and throughout our JD Welsh Premier League season.”
Speaking following the conclusion of the competition, Ian Williams, The New Saints’ General Manager said:
“It’s great to see local independent retailers in the town centre participating in our campaign to encourage more people from Oswestry to follow us in our UEFA Champions League campaign this season.
“Hopefully it will encourage more local people to not only support us in these games, but also throughout the JD Welsh Premier League season.”
Check out a few of the other entires below.