Rochdale Football Club was delighted to welcome representatives from Friends of Tourcoing and Les Amis de Rochdale to the Crown Oil Arena on Thursday afternoon, as part of celebrations to mark the relationship between the two towns.
Through the Rochdale Association of Town Twinning, friendships have been forged with people from Tourcoing in Northern France for decades.
70 British and French members attended the reception at the club, and were treated to buffet courtesy of Quirky Kitchen and a tour of the ground.
They posed for pictures with Desmond The Dragon, and also received complimentary copies of Dale’s matchday programme from this season.
As well as visiting the Crown Oil Arena, the group has plenty planned during their stay in Rochdale. The Mayor and Mayoress will officiate a Town Twinning Dedication Ceremony on Edenfield Road, in association with Caldershaw Primary School, which includes the unveiling of a special plaque and a planting session.
Visits to the Hollingworth Lake, Touchstones, the Cooperative Museum and the Ellenroad Engine House are also on the cards, before their time in the Borough culminates with an evening of entertainment at Rochdale Town Hall.
Dale Chief Executive Russ Green commented: “The football club, Rochdale Hornets and the Crown Oil Arena play a big part in bringing good news stories to the town, so we thought it was only right that our French counterparts paid a visit to learn more about the Borough’s two professional sporting teams.
“Being active in the local community is vitally important for us as a football club and we were delighted to team up with the Rochdale based Friends of Tourcoing to offer this reception.
Anne Sutton, who has been a member of Friends of Tourcoing for over 30 years, said: “There’s a friendship there.
“You’re learning each other’s cultures, and it’s not just an exchange, you create a bond. Not just with your host family, but with all of the French people.
“It’s great to be able to visit places like Rochdale AFC and show our French counterparts different parts of our community, which the club are a massive part of thanks to their brilliant work.”
To find out more about Friends Of Tourcoing, visit their website HERE.