THE BOND between RM Condor and Arbroath was strengthened this week by a generous donation.
The Sergeant’s Mess at 45 Royal Marine Commando, along with the Regimental Institution shop, donated 20 brand new football strips to Arbroath Lads’ Club under 11s.
On Monday afternoon, approximately 16 Lads’ Club players descended on the Sergeant’s Mess to receive their new strips, much to their obvious delight.
Regimental Sergeant Major Steph Moran made the presentation outside the Mess and asked the boys what they thought of their new kits, the reply was a chorus of “Awesome!”
RSM Moran agreed with them, adding: “I think they look absolutely fantastic. You look absolutely amazing lads.
“As a Regimental Sergeant Major this is part of my job. I do a lot of welfare and development within the unit and in the community.”
The RSM explained that Arbroath had over the years given a lot to 45 Commando, and he was keen for the kindness of its townspeople to be recognised and returned.
He said: “I just feel the support that the Arbroath community has given the unit in their last deployment and over the last 10 years since the War on Terror began has been fantastic.
“This is absolutely the right thing to do to return that goodwill, mirror that support and channel it right back into the local community.”
RSM Moran explained that this was just the latest example of RM Condor’s fostering of relationships with local sports clubs, citing the use of the rugby pitches by Arbroath Rugby Club, the dry ski slope by Arbroath Ski Club, the climbing wall and the other training facilities on base.
He added: “This is a great opportunity to be in a position to do this. Arbroath in particular has been absolutely fantastic in their support for 45 and I can only thank them for that.”
Getting the Sergeant’s Mess to donate the strips was the brainchild of Marc Jackson, the health and safety officer at RM Condor, and father of McKinley one of the Lads’ Club goalkeepers.
Marc said: “I’ve been involved with the club for six years, ever since McKinley started playing for them.
“There was a fund-raiser planned but got cancelled, so we were looking for sponsors and I approached the unit who said they were happy to do it.
“The Regimental Institute shop gave £130 and the Sergeant’s Mess donated the remainder of £390.
“The way the town got behind the unit on its last deployment was fantastic. We thought it was a nice way to pay them back.”
The new strips are closely modelled on those worn by Arbroath FC, and features the new club badge as well as the symbol of the Royal Marine Commandos, the unique Fairbairn-Sykes Commando dagger.
President of Arbroath Lads’ Club under-11s Gav Paterson was very pleased with the result. He said: “I think they’re absolutely fantastic and good quality. The club has not long got a new badge and it looks really good embroidered on their shirts.”
Team manager Neil Cargill was full of praise for the kit and the generosity of the marines, he said: “I think the boys look fantastic, the strips themselves are amazing. Having the new badges on them really sets them off.
“Hopefully this has strengthened things between the base and the people of Arbroath. It was really, really generous of the Sergeant’s Mess to do this.”
The club plan to have the players sign one of the shirts, frame it and present it to the Sergeant’s Mess as a token of their appreciation.
Neil added that support for the club is vital, he said: “The parents are a fantastic help, they help keep it going as it would be impossible for one person to run a team this size.”