A life-long love for local football has resulted in a new partnership between businessman Colin Cassidy and Dalkeith Thistle.
Mr Cassidy’s company Basically Tool Hire has become the team’s main sponsor for this season, an involvement he initiated after meeting one of the Dalkeith coaches socially.
A fan of the club since he was a boy, Mr Cassidy jumped at the chance to get involved after hearing about their plans for the future.
He said: “I was at a party one night and got talking to Andrew Dunleavy who told me about their plans and I liked the sound of it - they’re hoping to provide a new club house and pitch. Their main sponsor had pulled out and I thought I’d give it a wee shot.
“I’ve always been a Dalkeith Thistle supporter and used to watch their games when I was a boy. I’d like to see the club prominent again locally, as we used to see crowds of between five and six thousand at games against the likes of Penicuik.
“I suppose it brought back childhood memories for me and reminded me of how much I’d enjoyed it. And I’m a Dalkeith boy.”
Originally a landscape gardener, Mr Cassidy diversified into tool hire in 1999 and started his company in a building he built himself and which was originally intended as a sawmill, but which was standing empty.
From starting with a relatively small hire fleet, Basically Tool Hire now supplies everything from floor sanders to excavators for everyone from professional builders and landscapers, to a DIY enthusiasts. The company also branched out into tool repairs in 2014.
Mr Cassidy added that he is delighted to be supporting his local junior team and urged the community to do the same.
He said: “I’ve been to a few games recently and it has really rekindled my interest. They’ve been some of the best games I’ve been to for a long time and been a very worthwhile experience.
“They have a good way to go with their plans but it will be interesting times to be involved. It’s just a 12-month sponsorship at the moment but I’m positive that I’ll go a bit further with it and give them as much support as we can. I’d like to become more involved
“They’re a great crowd of guys; the coaches are enthusiastic and the team play good quality football and these young lads need everyone behind them.
“I think in recent years junior clubs have been forgotten about which is a shame as they’re in the heart of the community and great to watch.”