A national TV star and former regional journalist has backed a campaign supported by his hometown daily to save a stricken football club.
Sky Sports anchorman Jeff Stelling has issued a rallying call for supporters to save Hartlepool United FC, in a campaign backed by the Hartlepool Mail.
The club need to raise £200,000 in the next fortnight to pay their bills, or face administration if the cash is not found.
Jeff, a lifelong fan of the club, began his career with a four-year stint on the Mail where, among other duties, he covered United’s fortunes. The newspaper splashed on his support for the campaign this morning.
Jeff told his former employer: “We have known for a little while it’s been coming. It is pretty obvious you can’t run a football club losing the amount of money we have been week in week out. As a fan it’s alarming, dismaying; it’s the worst thing that can happen to your football club.
“I have been going since the sixties. Of course there has been other crises but certainly in recent times this is the worst.”
Campaigners have urged fans to attend the club’s next home game against Wrexham on 20 January for what they have dubbed ‘Save Pools Day’.
Jeff added: “It’s great that the supporters are rallying round. Anything they can do has got to be good. Let’s fill the ground as we did for the Doncaster game last season and get the same sort of atmosphere going as we did then.
“Let’s put some money into the coffers and get some points on he board. Both those are going to be important.”