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Year of the Youth is launched on 16th March 2006

Year of the Youth is launched on 16th March 2006

Ten years ago today, the youth foundation was formally launched in the presence of then manager Steve Cotterill and head of youth Vince Overson at the Bridge Bier Huis in Burnley.

The idea had all come about because of a conversation in the same pub on New Year’s Eve 2005 ahead of our home game against Sheffield Wednesday when I was asked if it might be possible to raise £50 (I think that was the total) to sponsor one of the youth team players in the programme.

By the time of the launch that figure had been surpassed, we’d sponsored a player and also one of the centre of excellence teams, and the fundraising was given the name ‘Year of the Youth’, the intention being to run it for one year. A small group had been set up to run everything, needless to say in a pub, this time the Park View on a Friday night while trying to take in the Crystal Palace v Reading game on television, and given that all of us were then involved , in some capacity, with Clarets Mad it was thought that was the best way to advertise things and so for the first year it became commonly known as Clarets Mad Year of the Youth.

One year later, after organising the Last Supper but with no desire to bring things to an end, a new name was sought. Year of the Youth was clearly, by now, past its sell by date and so Clarets Mad Youth Foundation became the new name.

It’s been like that since. Back in the early days the owners of the Clarets Mad site were fully supportive, after all it was owned by a Burnley company, but things change. Some of those involved with CMYF from that Park View meeting have moved on and new people have joined and, of course, the web site changed ownership. Certainly there wasn’t the same desire to support it and we hurriedly had to take external advice back in the autumn of last year to continue things.

Martin Dobson receives a cheque for £10,000 to allow the youth team to take part in the Northern Ireland Milk Cup

Martin Dobson receives a cheque for £10,000 to allow the youth team to take part in the Northern Ireland Milk Cup

All the details of how the money has been raised were shown on the Clarets Mad site but when I made the decision to move to Up the Clarets in January it was very quickly removed as was all trace of the fundraising. That could have meant panic but the Youth Foundation team asked if I could restore things on Up the Clarets, which I did, and we were, thankfully, ready for the First Goal Sweep ahead of the home game against Derby.

The information page, previously on Clarets Mad, was restored. It is now updated on Up the Clarets and can be found in Youth Foundation Information which is within UTC Youth Foundation on the lower menu. It shows, in detail, all the money raised over the last decade to the current total today of £56,344.55.

Over £48,200 of that total has already been used by our youth department. In June 2006 they received a smart board system from the foundation to kick things off and have since benefited with the purchase of various items including important heart monitoring equipment. Junior teams have also been able to enjoy playing in tournaments in America, Northern Ireland, Malta and Portugal through the fund.

The money has always been held in accounts with HSBC and those accounts have a number of signatories. The money has not moved anywhere since the forced move in January to Up the Clarets and there is no intention to change that.

However, the fundraising has been renamed to Up the Clarets Youth Foundation as from today, the tenth anniversary, and those changes will soon be reflected with the bank account names.

There is a new email address too which reflects the new name, the foundation can now be contacted at utcyouthfoundation@virginmedia.com from today.

The First Goal Sweep, which has been so successful since it was introduced in November 2007, will continue with the allocated goal times being published on the Bee Hole End message board. Previous games and any other archived threads can be found in the UTC Youth Foundation Archive forum. You will find details there on how to join, or alternatively visit First Goal Sweep Info on the main site.

The under-14s are off to Phoenix courtesy of the youth foundation

The under-14s are off to Phoenix courtesy of the youth foundation

There are tentative plans to resurrect the dinners this year. A provisional date has been booked for Saturday 30th April. There will be more on that soon should it go ahead.

Thanks to everyone who has supported the youth foundation over the past ten years. The money has been used, and will continue to be used, to assist the youth department at Burnley Football Club.

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