Shropshire-based football star Josh Bailey, who has just earned his first professional contract with The New Saints FC, is celebrating a meaty new sponsorship deal.

The 18-year-old defender has become part of the first team squad at the Oswestry-based club.

He has also landed a boot sponsorship deal in recognition of his breakthrough, with Telford-based family butcher G.N. Badley & Sons.

It’s the latest in a series of community-friendly gestures from the butcher, which was a finalist in the Good Neighbour category of this year’s Shropshire Chamber of Commerce ‘Chamber Champion’ Awards.

Kay Badley, director of GN Badley & Sons, said: “We’re delighted to give Josh a helping hand as he begins his professional football career.

“We are all about promoting a healthy lifestyle and diet here at G.N. Badley & Sons, so we are delighted to support one of Telford’s up-and-coming professional sporting stars.”

Josh made his TNS first team debut in a 6-2 victory over Carmarthen Town last season.

He was also in the team which kicked off this season with victory over Barry Town United, and travelled to the Faroe Islands for the team’s Europa League qualifying campaign.

He said: “I’m really grateful to the team at Badley’s for their support. This has been a breakthrough year for me – it was a dream come true to get the call to play for the TNS first team.

“I’m happy I’ve got my professional contract, and this sponsorship deal, and I now just want to keep on working for more. I always want to strive to do better for myself.

“Life is completely different now I’m with the first team – intensity, fitness, ball play – but I’m really enjoying it.”

Josh earned his professional contract with TNS after working his way through the club’s youth set-up, where he was part of the under 19s team which made it to the FAW Youth Cup final last season.

Pictured: Josh Bailey receives his boots from Kay Badley at G.N. Badley & Sons in Trench, Telford