FANS PITCH IN TO SAVE THEIR TEAM; New Hope for 140-Year-Old Football Club after Collapse
Byline: PAUL SUART
PEOPLE power could save a historic Midland football club from extinction - after hundreds of fans and businessmen vowed to get the team back on its feet.
West Midlands Regional League side Darlaston Town FC, which was formed in 1874, mysteriously folded just days before the new season started.
It was thought that the Black Country out-fit, which won ten league championships and more than 40 cup competitions, had pulled out of the league because of financial problems.
The future had looked bleak for the club which produced Aston Villa's record goalscorer Billy Walker and Manchester United ace Arthur Cashmore.
But a 100-strong team of fans and local businessman has joined forces in a community-spirited bid to lift the footballing phoenix from the flames.
And a Midland MP has written to FA Chairman Greg Dyke, asking him to step in.
Club historian Neil Chambers is leading the crusade to re-form Darlaston in time for next season and said he was delighted with the turnout at a meeting about the issue.
The 57-year-old fanatic from Norton Canes, Staffordshire, has assembled a 14-man committee and will assume the role of chairman if, and when, the club gets the nod to reform.
"To see so many people turn up to show support for the club was fantastic," he said. "We have made a great start but still need plenty of help from local people and local businesses to raise the PS5,000 needed before a single ball can be kicked again.
"We will need to speak to the council to find a suitable ground that will meet the standards required, and we have an awful lot of work to do in the next few months.
"About a dozen individuals agreed to make monthly contributions to start the fundraising effort whilst others agreed to make a oneoff donation.
"Without a team or clubhouse to raise funds we need more people to do the same, and this will be one of our priorities. …