BLACKBURN Rovers have signed a lucrative deal with a £6 million star — the town’s state-of-the-art Youth Zone.

The club put pen to paper on a deal that will see it become a ‘Premier Patron’ of the youth charity, in Jubilee Street.

A number of joint events and activities will be held at the multi-million pound centre over the next year, and Rovers are set to play an active role in supporting youngsters from across Blackburn.

The Youth Zone, which opened its doors two years ago, relies entirely on donations to continue making first class sports and arts facilities to every youngster in the borough for just 50p a visit.

Manager Gary Bowyer held his pre-match press conference on the Youth Zone’s roof-top football pitch yesterday, before announcing the partnership.

Bowyer, whose side take on promotion hopefuls Cardiff City in the Championship on Friday, said: “The facility is magnificent and what it offers young people is exceptional. The fact Blackburn Rovers can be involved in the community is great.”

Mr Bowyer said the move was a ‘great step’ towards winning back fans following a tough couple of seasons.

He said: “The relationship between any town or city and their football club has got to be massive, and this is a great chance for us. The fans have had to suffer over the last couple of years, but last season brought them closer together and this is another example of that.

“You look at the facility and it’s fantastic. I would have no qualms about bringing our lads here to train for the day. I’m serious, it’s a top class facility. The gymnasium and the equipment are phenomenal. If we can’t train because it’s frozen, we could play five-a-side on here no problem.”

The Youth Zone’s chief executive, Peter Little, added: “It’s a dream partnership for us to join forces with our town’s football club. Both our organisations have a shared vision of making Blackburn an exciting and positive place to grow up, and together we make a powerful partnership that will be a positive force in the lives of many young people in the our town.”