Wayne Wild Appointed Chairman of AFC Darwen

AFC DARWEN football club has appointed WEC Group Commercial Director Wayne Wild as chairman.

Mr Wild, group director of metal fabrication firm WEC, was invited to take up the role by club owner and manager Kenny Langford.

It is another boost for the club which last year announced the Junction Street firm had agreed a lucrative sponsorship deal with the club.

That saw the ground, off Anchor Lane in Darwen, renamed the WEC Group Anchor Ground and came a year after the club unveiled extensive renovations of its clubhouse.

Mr Langford said the aim was to identify fresh income streams to attract the highest possible standard of players and to see how far up the leagues the club – in the North West Counties First Division in English football's 10th tier – can go.

Mr Langford said: "I am delighted that Wayne has accepted the invitation to become chairman of the club and to join us in driving AFC Darwen forward.

"We recognised his business expertise and his great contacts could make a real difference to what we are trying to achieve as a community football club.

"We have had fantastic backing from the WEC Group as club sponsors and this move really builds and strengthens that relationship."

Mr Wild, a Blackburn Rovers fan and co-chairman of Rovers Trust, spearheaded the sponsorship after a deal with neighbouring Rovers to sponsor the Blackburn End.

He said: "My main role as chairman is to generate a consortium of local business people who are willing to help to move AFC Darwen forward.

"There is a great set-up at the club and Kenny and his team have a great vision of how they want to see AFC Darwen progress both on and off the pitch.

"I am excited about my new role and I am looking forward to working to strengthen AFC Darwen in all areas and to help create a bright and vibrant future for the club."

Mr Wild, who lives in Darwen, said the appointment would not affect his work with Rovers Trust.

He said: "I will continue to be fully committed to my work with the Trust and helping it continue its aim to bring the club back into community ownership.

"The work I will be doing at AFC Darwen will hopefully highlight the good things that can happen when a club has strong links with its local community."