One of Northern Ireland's biggest companies is extending its support of cricket. Robinson Services already sponsors the Northern Cricket Union's Premier and Senior Leagues and has now become the sponsors of Brigade Cricket Club in the North-West Union.

The company specialises in commercial cleaning, hygiene, laundry and security and has 4,000 clients. It employs over 2,000 people and enjoys an annual turnover of over £2 million from its base in Belfast.

The company has now announced itís considering expanding North West operations with a base in Londonderry. And in keeping with its policy of developing community spirit, Robinson Services has become the main sponsors of Brigade on the cityís Waterside.

The company's history is one of humble beginnings - started 50 years ago by Antrim man James Robinson who single-handedly cleaned windows in the town to augment his night shift earnings at the local British Enkalon synthetic fibre plant.

Mr Robinson died last year at the age of 87 and the company is now run by his 50 year-old son David. He joined the company straight from school in 1985 when the company had just four employees and became managing director in 1999.

The company already has links with the North West and counts companies in Derry and elsewhere in the county among its clients.

And its sponsorship of Brigade already confirms its policy of fostering links with the community - a policy that grants awards to staff for contributions to the areas in which they work.

The Robinson family are lifelong members of Muckamore Cricket Club and David - a former wicket-keeper for the 3rd XI - is a trustee of the club.

He says : "We also support local football and rugby teams because they are part of local communities and our staff all live in those communities. In a way we are doing something for them and we are glad to help within reason."

The chairman of Brigade, Roy Torrens, says : "We are most grateful to David and his company. These are not easy times for cricket clubs given competing sports and other social activities and the sponsorship will allow us to continue to develop the club."