Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Town's Survival Bid Gets Support of the Top Guns

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Town's Survival Bid Gets Support of the Top Guns

Article excerpt

BOTH Newcastle United and Sunderland are sending their under-23 sides to play Hebburn Town - in a bid to help save the stricken club.

The South Tyneside outfit revealed their financial woes earlier this season but have been stunned by the response of the North East footballing community.

Since launching a publicity campaign to raise their profile in the local community there has been a resurgence in crowds, which has put the club on a surer footing.

Club press officer Mick Laffey said: "Gates were dropping and our income was falling.

"It reached the stage where we thought we were not going to have enough money to survive to the end of the season.

"We decided we would have a campaign to see if there was anyone in the local community who cared.

"We needed two things - people to come through the gates and support us and the help of the local business community."

The club committee decided to launch a local publicity campaign - effectively to save the club. It had an instant, positive impact.

Laffey added: "Facebook and Twitter went berserk. It must have struck a chord.

"We have been quite humbled by how many people have shown their support for us.

"We always try and push ourselves when asked, of course, but we consistently encourage people to attend their local Northern League team if that's not us.

"We're all in this together and we have received messages from numerous other clubs wishing us well and empathising with our plight. It's not just about us.

"It's a rallying cry for the whole Northern League.

"We have a strong and relatively large committee and everyone is doing everything they can. It's very much a team effort."

Their last game before the campaign and appeal saw just 34 people through the gate. The highest all season before the campaign was 74.

At their first game after it started they had 281 spectators. …

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