Blyth Spartans AFC is extremely excited to announce plans for a Robbie Dale mural to be situated at the Plessey Road entrance to Croft Park.
Club legend Robbie retired in October last year as our all-time record appearance holder with 680 and ranks second behind Brian Slane in the goalscoring charts with 212.
Scoring a hat-trick on his debut against Wakefield and Emley in 2005, Robbie played in 17 consecutive seasons for us and what he achieved in that time is simply unprecedented.
Racking up a number of club and individual accolades at local and national level, Robbie was named second in the Northern Premier’s greatest-ever players – pipped only to top spot by Premier League striker and former England international Jamie Vardy.
Robbie also wrote himself into FA Cup history, twice appearing in the third round in 2009 and 2015 – the latter including a memorable brace against Championship outfit Birmingham City.
Aside from tormenting full-backs and even filling in as goalkeeper, Robbie captained us from 2014 to 2020 – going on to lift the Northern Premier League and Northumberland Senior Cup double in 2017.
It goes without saying that not only has Robbie earned legendary status at Croft Park, but in non league in general too.
As a way of honouring his outstanding achievements and service, the club and a group of supporters – headed by Simon Needham – have come together and began work on plans for a mural of Robbie to be painted on the side of Gino’s Fish Bar by the excellent Frank Styles.
The proposal follows on from our commitment to stage a second testimonial match for Robbie once normality resumes.
Frank is an expert in this particular field, previously painting stunning murals around Sunderland. His work includes that of Black Cats legends Kevin Phillips, Jim Montgomery and Raich Carter.
Frank and the owner of Gino’s, Shad Saleem have been in dialogue, and we’re delighted to announce a final design has been finalised in line with an image by club photographer Kris Hodgetts.
We’d like to send our greatest gratitude to Shad for his unbelievable support during this project. He will be undertaking pointing work on the wall prior to the mural, as well as removing the recently installed Gino’s Fish Bar sign.
Now, we’re asking for YOUR help in the final stretch.
In order for the project to be completed, we are hoping to raise £5,000 via our GoFundMe page – organised by Simon Needham and CIMA Accountant and long standing supporter Alan McLean.
We will also be giving people the chance to make private donations if they prefer not to use GoFundMe. Should you wish to do this, please email Alan directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This will cover the costs of the mural, which we’re aiming to unveil in April this year.
All that’s left to do is, donate and spread the word to help contribute to this amazing piece of work and most importantly, recognise Robbie’s extraordinary dedication and achievements in his 15 years at Blyth Spartans AFC.
With this, we see it as the perfect way to give something back to the man who gave our club so many special memories.
Follow this fundraising campaign on Facebook and Twitter via the links below:
Facebook – www.facebook.com/Robbiemural
Twitter – @Dalemural