Hartlepool United fans were treated to an open training session – to help a neighbouring club.
Despite the heavy rain, about 200 fans turned up to watch Craig Hignett put his Sky Bet League 2 side through their paces at Billingham Town’s Bedford Terrace ground yesterday.
The event was organised as a fundraiser for the Northern Football League division two outfit and the majority of those who turned up were children still enjoying their school holidays.
They got a surprise when Hartlepool goalkeeper Trevor Carson invited the youngsters onto the pitch at the end of the session to take part in an impromptu penalty shootout.
A spokesman for Hartlepool United said: “We hope to have raised a significant figure for Billingham. We just wanted to help a neighbouring club. This is the first time we have done this and would certainly look at doing it again.”
Although entry was free, fans were urged to make any donations they could to raise much needed funds for the non-league side.
It’s good that we can help them in this wayCraig Hignett
A raffle was held in which some fans managed to walk away with tickets to see Pools, with the overall winner taking home the new Hartlepool replica away kit signed by all the players.
The new kit is not due to be released until tomorrow.
Earlier Hartlepool manager Craig Hignett highlighted the “good relationship,” his club had with with Billingham, adding: “It’s where we play our reserve games and train from time to time so it’s good that we can help them in this way.”