HE may joke that he’s Aston Villa’s best Irish signing since Paul McGrath, but Greencastle native Paul Bradley is serious about supporting Aston Villa’s womens team, who play in the English Women’s Championship. So much so that his company, Guard Industry, has just signed a historic deal with the Midlands club to become the women’s team’s first-ever principal partner.
Paul owns the UK and Ireland rights to Guard Industry’s products, with the company boasting over 30 years of expertise in cleaning and protection, providing their powerful, biodegradable and safe product innovations to over 70 countries across the globe.
The award-winning company have teamed up with Aston Villa Women as part of their commitment to raising the profile of the women’s game which will include an investment and a focus on increasing attendances and making the game accessible for all.
Bradley, who moved to Birmingham around 20 years ago is delighted to become involved with the women’s side of the former European Cup winning club.
“Logistically, where I live, I’ve been going to Aston Villa for 15 years and maybe was a bit of a Villa fan before I moved over here, but I’m linked with a semi-pro club over here called Boldmere St Michaels – I played for them and managed them,” he explained.
“Aston Villa Women play their home games there and just through one thing and another I saw them there, have been following them for a while and I saw an opportunity, explored it and one thing led on to that.
“Aston Villa have embraced me personally but the company too and there’s no doubt about it that there are bigger, more lucrative companies within a one mile radius of Aston Villa, but for them to open the door to me personally and the company, it’s a fantastic thing.
“Guard Industry would like to thank Aston Villa for this opportunity to become Principal Partners of the women’s football team.
“We’re looking forward to working closely with the club to champion womens football in this country and help to grow the number of supporters attending their matches with a number of planned initiatives which include getting out into the local community to spread the message of Aston Villa Women.
“When good partnerships are forged, success can be unlimited.”
Although Paul is based in England, he hasn’t forgotten his roots.
He sponsored both Greencastle and Sperrin Og GAA Club’s teams for several years and has recently completed a project with Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School.
“It also means a lot to have been involved as sponsor for Greencastle for three or four years too and Greencastle Primary School have become the first school in Europe to have our unique air purification protection product applied,” he added.
“The school had been following things with us and obviously with me having links to Greencastle I was asked by the school if there was something we could do because the school is 40 years open coming up.
“So I put to them the proposal of this product and they embraced it.
“As of August past Greencastle Primary School has become the first in Europe to have our unique product applied.
“It reacts with the sun to purify and break down external pollution and believe it or not the only other structure in Ireland to have this applied to it is Croke Park!”