Macclesfield Town FC is to revive its centre of excellence thanks to fundraising in memory of Silkmen legend Richard Butcher.
The club axed the junior set-up in 2012 after it was relegated from the national league.
Now the Richard Butcher Memorial Trust – created in memory of the popular midfielder who died in 2011 – has donated £20,000 to the football club.
The cash will be used for two projects including Project 21, named after the number 21 shirt that Butcher wore for the Silkmen, which will re-establish a football facility for children aged six to 16 in time for the start of the 2016/17 season.
The other project is to revamp the current Corner Flag Bar and rename it as Butch’s Bar to be used by fans on match days.
Gail Butcher, Richard’s mum, handed over the donation to Macclesfield Town chairman Mark Blower.
She said: “Project 21 will give youngsters an opportunity to play football. That was all Richard ever wanted. He was a normal boy who just wanted to play football. Now the youngsters of Macclesfield will get the opportunity to play the game like Richard did.
“With Butch’s Bar, it will be so nice to be able to go there and see the fans enjoy themselves. Richard was always very appreciative of the fans at Macclesfield and the fans make the football club.”
Over the last five years the Richard Butcher Memorial Trust has raised £40,000 through various events including a book, ‘Butch: The Wings of Football’ written by Gail.
Mark Blower, chairman, said: “The donation will ensure that Project 21 will have the right foundations laid from inception, with the objective of restoring youth football development at the club for those aged 6 to 21.
“We hope and have planned for up to 150 children and young adults to be involved in these sessions each week.
“Maybe one child will even go on to play for Macclesfield Town and follow their dreams because of this scheme and donation.
“The refurbishment of an already popular, but slightly worn facility which will be re-launched in Richard’s name and provide a place for fans to meet and socialise in before, during and after a match.
“Both initiatives are the perfect way to honour the legacy of Richard.”
The remaining £20,000 is to be awarded to Kettering FC, the club where Butcher started his playing career.