Two ex-Newcastle Falcons players, Mark Wilson and Carl Fearns, have signed a new deal to help local sports clubs save thousands on energy bills.

Taking their passion for the sport off the pitch, the pair will be working with Durham-based Fusion for Business (FFB), helping to support sports clubs to keep their doors open.

The two will join FFB’s Community Ambassador Programme, which has already saved clubs across the region £375,000.

FFB, an energy solutions partner, is hoping to increase this amount further with the signing of the two sporting legends.  

Mark Wilson, who made 237 appearances for Newcastle Falcons and was capped 23 times for England, said: “Rugby has been my life for nearly 20 years, building up through grass roots level to playing in the premiership and for England.

“I know first hand how important local community and sports clubs are to young people in particular for their physical and mental wellbeing, and the impact that the cost of living and energy crisis is having on some of these clubs is not good.

“Joining the Community Ambassador Programme with FFB means that I can open the door to a trusted source for these clubs, where they can get advice on saving money on their energy bills, how to become more energy efficient and even looking at new ways to generate money that they can reinvest back into the club – I’m looking forward to getting started and really helping to make a difference.”

The rising cost of energy bills has resulted in nearly two-thirds of sports clubs having to make changes to meet the cost of rising energy bills, which has resulted in some taking the tough decision to close their doors.

An energy solutions partner for thousands of businesses, sports clubs and associations across the UK, FFB was set up in 2020 to be a trusted champion in the energy market and is growing with more than 50 staff spread across its office in Consett and recently opened space in Manchester.  

Maisie Cole, Head of Community Ambassador Programme at FFB, said: “We work with all levels of sports clubs across the UK but no matter the level, clubs are faced with unprecedented times coming off the back of COVID19, the energy crisis and rising living costs, all while trying to keep afloat and remain a vital part of our local communities.

“As a team, FFB continue to work hard to ensure these clubs can keep their bills as low as possible whilst also offering new ways to generate additional revenue streams.

“We know the energy market is notoriously untrusted, but we’re slowly changing that by building relationships based on trust and offering our partners smart, long-term solutions to ultimately keep their doors open.”

Ryton RFC were a recent beneficiary of the work of FFB, saving £3,000 on their own premises, through FFB’s Energy Management solution.

As the club are part of the Community Ambassador Programme, by referring the services of FFB to other companies, they received an additional £3,500 to reinvest back into their work.

Charlie Thorburn, Ryton RFC Chairman, said: “It’s always been tough financially to run small sports clubs like Ryton RFC so the support that we get from FFB is so important to help the club survive in what is an economically challenging climate.

“Any new way of bringing revenue to the club is exciting and the FFB Community Ambassador Programme seemed a great fit as it embodies our community spirit whilst also ensuring that our own bills are looked after.

“We’d also like to say a huge thank you to the team for sponsoring £1,000, which has helped us improve our bar and patio area for this and future seasons.”

To find out more about the Community Ambassador Programme, click here.