Beith Juniors have won the ‘Donate A Ticket’ Scottish Cup, after a dramatic final against fellow Scottish Junior side Tranent Juniors. The club won the tie with a total of 969 £5 ticket donations, with both clubs raising a total of £9,170.
YFS’ Matthew Muir spoke to Club Secretary, Chris Irving, who expressed delight at the club’s achievement and at how much money was raised throughout the competition – some of which will help with the sides venture into the new Lowland Development League.
“It was fantastic last night when with just a few minutes to go we were ahead by over 100 tickets and realised we had won it. The tie really went to the wire. In terms of the money raised, it has been absolutely overwhelming and way beyond any expectations we had.”
The ‘Mighty’ faced many clubs on their way to the final, going up against Sauchie, Cambuslang Rangers and Newtongrange Star in the semi-final but the highlight of the cup came when they drew SPFL side Raith Rovers.
Chris said: “Beating Raith Rovers in the quarter-finals was probably the highlight for us given their high profile in Scottish football – they were the highest ranked club in the competition and come with a huge fanbase.”
‘Donate A Ticket’ is a football fundraising platform founded to help football clubs across the UK & Ireland raise money in the form of a match ticket.
Chris explained: “We heard about the campaign after we had seen other clubs posting on social media regarding getting involved. At that point, the concept of the ‘Donate A Ticket’ Scottish Cup hadn’t even come about so we had zero expectations of how much we could raise.
“Initially, we had been posting on social media for supporters to buy tickets for our cancelled games and even when the Scottish Cup campaign was put to us by Ruaridh Kilgour at ‘Donate A Ticket’ we were initially unsure as everyone is going through difficult times and we were uncertain about asking for even more tickets for what was originally to be a weekly competition.”
Chris continued: “Like every club at the moment, times are tough with no real income coming in.
“We have had no games since early March and given the current financial uncertainty that many businesses are facing, asking for sponsorship is also difficult and something we have held back on.
The money coming in will be a massive help to see us through the coming season once and may even help towards future renovation works at Bellsdale Park.
“We have also joined the West of Scotland Football League (WoSFL) and in order to progress beyond that, should we be successful on the pitch, we would install floodlights as we do not have any, therefore unexpected boosts like the ‘Donate A Ticket’ campaign will allow the club to start thinking ahead”.
“We have also brought in a new u20s side which will play in the Lowlands Development League and will be managed by Chris Wilson. We look forward to working with Chris and his team and seeing the boys in action once football resumes.”
Chris also gave us an insight into the business happening at the Ayrshire club as they look forward towards the launch of the 2020/21 season.
“We have managed to complete our new Changing Room facility recently with some hard work from volunteers as well as carrying on with the yearly maintenance of the pitch and the terracing areas. We have also taken part in SFA Webinars in order to start preparing Bellsdale Park for the club’s return.
“In terms of the playing side, we have seen eight players leave, with some club legends amongst them, but manager Bryan Young has brought in eight new players as we enter into what is a new era both on and off the park.
Chris concluded with a message for the fans, thanking them for their ongoing support for the club.
“We have been completely taken aback by the response we have had, even prior to the Scottish Cup campaign.
“Our fans are crucial to us and the ‘all in it together’ mentality we are trying hard to create at the club has really came to the fore over the last few weeks.
“We just want our fans to know that without them we are nothing, and that hopefully together we can have more good times on the pitch going forward into what is a new era for the Club.”
To follow Beith Juniors and find out more about the club, follow their Twitter page @BeithJuniorsFC and to find out more about ‘Donate A Ticket’, go to their website at donateaticket.com