Port Vale’s latest signing is giving a boost to Stoke-on-Trent’s cultural credentials.
The club is showing its backing for the UK City of Culture 2021 title by emblazoning the bid across one of its main stands. And the Valiants are encouraging fans to show their support as Stoke-on-Trent is one of five cities shortlisted for the accolade.
The black, white, and yellow ‘back your team, back the bid’ sign, complete with City of Culture logo will be unveiled to fans for the first time at the big bank holiday derby clash with Crewe Alexandra on Saturday (26 August). It will adorn hoardings at the top of the Bycards stand.
Club chairman Tony Fradley said: “We have been speaking to the city council and other partners for some time about the city of culture bid, and ways that we can support it. The bid is really galvanising the city, it is great to see so many people showing pride in where they live and shouting about our great heritage and cultural offer.
“The club is tied into the fabric of Burslem and we have an important role in bringing in visitors to the city and promoting Stoke-on-Trent.
“We had the opportunity to put new hoardings on the Bycars Road stand and I hope they help to spur on support for the bid, as we’re all eagerly waiting to find out who will win.”
Stoke-on-Trent is one of five cities shortlisted for the 2021 title, along with Coventry, Paisley, Sunderland and Swansea. The government has set a deadline of 29 September for final bids to be submitted, and will reveal the winner at the end of the year.
Councillor Anthony Munday, Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet member for greener city, development and leisure, said: “This is a fantastic gesture from the football club and will help to promote the bid to home fans as well as visitors to Vale Park.
“The city of culture competition is really hotting up and we want as many people as possible to show their support, take pride in this great city and say why the title will benefit them, their communities and the whole of Stoke-on-Trent.”
Deputy council leader Abi Brown is urging fans to take selfies with the new sign and show their support for the bid on social media.
Councillor Brown, who is the council’s lead member for the UK City of Culture 2021 bid, said: “You can really feel the momentum behind our bid and Port Vale is the latest big name to support it. Thousands of people will see this eye catching sign between now and when the winner is announced in December. Wouldn’t it be great if fans of all persuasions and visitors to the club tweeted their pictures of the sign and join in the conversation on social media.”
Fans at the game on Saturday can tweet using the hashtags #sot2021 and #PVFC.