On Friday 14th November 2008 Former Prime Minister Tony Blair (now a UN peace ambassador for the Middle East) visited Wallsend Boys’ Club. The security was very intense with police visiting the premises on the two days leading up to the visit and there was a very visible police presence on the Friday morning. The great and the good of the area were present including elected Deputy Mayor Jim Allen and the head of the Northumberland FA. Sky Sports, national and local newspapers and local radio stations were all in attendance.
Mr Blair was met at the entrance by club secretary Kevin Riley, who then introduced him to club officials Peter Kirkley, Vince Carrick and Michael McGill. Founder members Jack Carruthers, Ray Oliver and Bob Corkhill also met Mr Blair, who was visiting the Boys’ Club to promote the Tony Blair Sports Foundation. The foundation was promoting youth sport by offering to finance half the cost of training coaches in their respective sports. His visit to the Boys’ Club was specifically to promote girls football and the training of coaches and referees for girls Soccer.
Tony said “The staff at the Boys’ Club have just given me a T shirt with the names of Wallsend Boys’ Club all time first XI on the back. To see the standard of players who have come out of this club is just amazing. They were some of the best players that have ever played the game. The work that goes on in this club with the facilities available is just fantastic. I hope to do everything I can to help them improve and get the best facilities they possibly can. We want to encourage more players to get into the game”.