A campaign to save Hartlepool United has gone global with support coming in from fans all over the world.
Long time Pools fan Mike Lewis came up with the idea of making the next home game on January 20 Save Pools Day by encouraging fans to pack out Victoria Park and help raise £200,000 the club needs to avoid administration.
He started sharing the phrase on social media to spread the word and in Mike’s words it has “gone through the roof”.
Mike said: “I came up with the idea of #savepoolsday and at first thought just a few fans would follow it and get a few extra fans into the ground but it has exploded.
“Tony Norman of the Friends of Hartlepool United said ‘do you want any help’ and it has gone through the roof.
“The idea was just to get Hartlepool and maybe a few Middlesbrough fans. It has now turned into fans from all over the country are coming.
“People at work who have never been to a football game before have decided to come.
“It has really gone worldwide. I have had goodwill messages from people all over the world.”
The campaign is also backing a JustGiving page started by Pools supporter Rachel Cartwright which has topped £12,000.
Donations have poured in from supporters of clubs all over the country after being touched by Hartlepool’s plight.
Mike, who was taken to his first Hartlepool match aged just six months, added: “Everybody knows Hartlepool. I have been all over the world with my job and holidays and everybody knows about the Monkey Hangers or Jeff Stelling.
“It is really important for the town. It’s massive.”
A number of former Pools players have also helped to spread the word and direct people to the fundraising page on Facebook and Twitter.
Ian Clark, who made over 100 appearances between 1997 and 2001, said on Twitter: “Was lucky enough to play many games for @Official_HUFC and would be a travesty for this club to fold, let’s all get behind the club and support them at this hard time and hopefully they can survive this and build a future.”
Nathan Thomas who left at the end of last season said on Twitter: “A football club that is very close to my heart. Was always very proud to wear the shirt and now this is happening. If you can help please do because the club doesn’t deserve this!! Never Say Die”.
Fans are invited to attend a special meeting to discuss more fundraising ideas next week.
It will take place at the South Durham Steelworks Club in Westbourne Road, Hartlepool, on Tuesday, January 16.
Mike said: “We’re asking as many fans as possible to come to talk about what we can do.”
It starts at 7.30pm.