Gardiner invests in bright future
Friday 20 September 1996
Mark Gardiner, who runs a double glazing firm in Hastings, became one of the country's biggest National Lottery multi-millionaires when he won pounds 11.6m in June last year. Gardiner, a Queen's Park Rangers fan with no previous involvement in the non-League game, initially approached Hastings Town and offered a sponsorship deal involving his firm, Croft Glass. They had just made alternative arrangements, however, so Gardiner moved on to Stamco, as they were then known, whose ground is next door to Hastings Town.
Gardiner initially invested pounds 20,000 in Stamco, which helped them win promotion to the Dr Martens League. This summer he pledged pounds 500,000 over three years to improve the club's facilities. With the club's long-serving chairman, Leon Shepperdson, maintaining his financial support at similar levels, the future looks bright for Stamcroft, who changed their name to reflect the involvement of Gardiner's business alongside Shepperdson's timber firm, Stamco.
The club are well placed in the top half of the Dr Martens Southern Division and last weekend they enjoyed a 4-1 win over their former County League rivals, Arundel, in the FA Cup. Their most famous player is Steve Gatting, the former Arsenal and Brighton defender and brother of Mike the cricketer, while Mike Trusson, once a midfielder with Plymouth, Sheffield United and Brighton but now marketing manager for the London restaurant Football Football, is player-coach.
"We're not in the Southern League to make up the numbers, and we've had a better start than other people expected," said the club's manager for 10 years, Michael Reed, who stressed that Gardiner's investment is funding improved facilities and that wages are little different to last season.
After the lucky day that changed his life, Gardiner's personal life became public property thanks to the tabloids, but Shepperdson prefers to concentrate on the positive. "He has put his money where his mouth is," Stamcroft's chairman said. "I know plenty of wealthy people who do not help their local area, but that certainly could not be said of him."
Latest in Sport
Arturo Vidal to Manchester United: Midfielder set to force through move to Louis van Gaal's Red Devils - reports
Manchester United transfer news: Mats Hummels, Daley Blind and Thomas Vermaelen on radar as Louis van Gaal reveals he still wants to sign defender
Liverpool transfer news: Brendan Rodgers plans more Anfield signings this summer
Chelsea transfer news: Jose Mourinho confirms Fernando Torres is staying at Stamford Bridge
Sami Khedira latest: Real Madrid desperate to sell midfielder to Arsenal rather than lose him for free to Bayern Munich next summer
- 1 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 Now diplomacy has failed, boycotting Israel might be the only way we can protect the people of Gaza
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
£400 - £550 per day: Orgtel: Financial Control Manager - Regulatory Reporting ...
£80000 - £90000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: I am current...
£65000 per annum + 15% Pension, Health, Travel & Bonus: Progressive Recruitmen...
£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: SAP BW/BO CONSU...