We are delighted to announce the new Community Hub will be named after club legend Mick Kearns and will officially open at Saturday’s game against Crystal Palace.
Kearns founded Walsall Football Club’s Community Programme and has been a fantastic ambassador to the football club over many years.
The opening of the new Hub was made possible thanks to investment from the Premier League, FA, the Government's Football Foundation.
The Hub is situated in the lower tier of the HomeServe stand and will provide supporters with a new facility to visit on a matchday. It will also include the brand new Bescot Bar as well as the legends wall.
Walsall Football Club Community Programme will also benefit with a brand-new changing facility in the hub and more indoor space for activities.
Work began on the Hub in early 2020 but the project was delayed when the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
Once work was resumed and completed, the facility was used as the away dressing room during the 2020/21 season to aid social distancing while fans were unable to attend.
Mick is honoured to have the Community Hub named after him and can’t wait to see it open.
“It’s a really proud day for me,” he said. “I’ve played here, established and ran the Community Programme for so many years, another thing that I’m very proud of.
“I think all clubs around the country would like a facility like this, it’s a facility for activities that the Community Programme run, it’s a facility that the Academy can use on their training nights, as well as their parents.
“On a matchday, supporters will have access to it and I’m sure they’ll get great enjoyment out of it.”
Chief Operating Officer and Chair of Trustees for the Community Programme, Daniel Mole has led the Community Hub project and is delighted to see it finally open its doors.
“The Hub is a fantastic facility and a fitting tribute to Mick, a man who has given so much to this football club, and the great work of the Community Programme. I am proud to be Chairman of the Board of Trustees and firmly believe we have delivered a facility to be proud of. It will be of great benefit to the Community Programme and the community of Walsall.
“I would like to thank the Football Foundation for their support with this project along with all the dedicated members of staff who have worked tirelessly through an extremely challenging project with the Covid-19 Pandemic to deliver the Mick Kearns Community Hub.”
Walsall Football Club Community Programme Director Adam Davy is looking forward to using the facility and believes it will be a huge benefit.
“I’m delighted that we are able to open the Community Hub,” he said.
“This facility will benefit so many people across the borough and the Community Programme’s activities. I’d like to thank Dan Mole and the Football Foundation for all their efforts and investment in this project.”
The club worked in partnership with the County FA to secure the Football Foundation funding.
Robert Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “We are delighted that Walsall’s Community Hub is now open to the public after receiving Football Foundation investment.
“Good quality facilities support the health of local people and communities, which is why we’re investing in projects like this across the country with funding provided by the Premier League, The FA, Government and Sport England.”
The Hub will be associated by Pukka and National Account Manager, Nik Jones is pleased to be involved.
“Pukka are delighted to be a part of the Mick Kearns Community Hub and we are thankful for the club to provide us with the opportunity to support such a great space for the community,” he said.
“We hope this becomes a key hub for the local area for years to come and shows what a great club Walsall are and how they care about their community.”
The Hub and new Bescot Bar will be open to up to 48 supporters on a first come first serve basis at tomorrow’s game against Crystal Palace at the Banks’s Stadium.
Once all restrictions are completely lifted, we will look to organise a more fitting opening with Mick and supporters on a matchday.