The first football game Steve Cobb ever went to was at Sutton United. He was 12 years old, and had already been a supporter for a couple of years. He was even pictured in the national media, circa 1976, standing by the barrier at Gander Green Lane watching a game long before the words “FA Cup giant killers” became synonymous with the team.
It’s an affinity that has lasted. Now managing director of Angel Plastics, Steve has just renewed his sponsorship with Sutton United for another two years; Angel Plastics will be the shirt sponsor for both home and away matches through to the end of the 2020/21 season. It was a no-brainer for Steve; this is his home, where he grew up, and he’s in a position where he can give back to the place that’s given him so many memories.
“I used to look over at the main stand and think ‘that’s where the important people sit’,” remembers Steve. “I could only afford my £1 ticket plus a burger and mug of Bovril at half time. I never even considered I’d be sitting up there as a sponsor one day.”
He continues: “Sutton United just makes it so easy. We know most of the people there, and it’s a really lovely family atmosphere. I’ve got five kids, and my youngest, who’s 10 and loves his football, is often a mascot – that’s a priceless experience. He’s at the open trials soon, hoping to play for the U’s. They go out of their way to make sure we feel part of it all. Plus, a lot of our customers are supporters of the club, so it’s nice to be involved.”
Angel Plastics is a true local – Steve can see the ‘Lane from his office window – so it’s an apt partnership for a team that’s centred on its community. Visitors to Knights Community Stadium might even hear that much-loved Angel Plastics jingle play before the match.
“What goes around comes around,” says Steve. “You put something into the community and you help people out in the process, and you hope things come back your way. This is our town, it’s where we operate, where we make our money. If I can put a bit back into the place and it helps other people, ultimately it makes us all more successful.”
Sutton United Chairman Bruce Elliott says that securing Angel Plastics’ support for the next two years is essential to building the next phase of Sutton United as the team prepares for its first season under new manager Matt Gray.
“We’re delighted to have Angel Plastics sign on for another two years of shirt sponsorship, both home and away,” says Bruce. “Steve and his team have been great supporters of the club and are regular fixtures at matches. It’s always lovely to see him bring his family to get involved, and it’s a testament to the club’s community focus that someone so community-minded wants to align his company with our team. This is more than just an injection of cash; this is a true partnership to help build a better Sutton, and a better Sutton United.”
So from a boy in Sutton desperate to be scouted to play for his beloved team – he even wrote to the club asking for a trial when he was 10 – Steve now gets to be part of the game in a different way.
The Angel Plastics sponsorship of Sutton United began with that legendary FA Cup run in 2016/17. They came on board as match sponsors for the Cheltenham game, and just kept taking up the next game sponsorship, not realising how far it would go.
To sponsor a match with Arsenal in it was a pretty high point, topped only by that first game of the first season as shirt sponsors. Standing pitchside with Bruce to receive a commemorative shirt, with the boys beating Leyton Orient live on BT Sport and then going top of the league for a couple of hours, was pretty special, says Steve.
The next dream? No pressure, guys, but Steve would love to see a shirt with his company on it play at a Wembley final. Can we get there this year, U’s?
For more details about commercial opportunities with Sutton United, please contact Jeremy Ramsden on 07930 575 332 or email@example.com. More details on Angel Plastics can be found at www.angelplastics.co.uk