Hundreds of clowns are set to descend on Merseyside for Hartlepool United’s last game of the season.
Following on from the likes of Smurfs, penguins, Thunder Birds, Oompa Lumpas and Where’s Wally in recent years, it is a tradition for hundreds of Pools fans travelling to the last away game of the season to don fancy dress costumes to see the season off in style.
And this year is no different, with the clown theme assigned to Pools fans making the journey to Prenton Park for their match against Tranmere Rovers FC on Saturday, April 28.
In past years Pools fans have attracted media attention nationwide and this year the game is set to be screened on TV.
Organiser John Pearce, 59, from Hartlepool, said: “We decided on a clown theme as we thought it would be a colourful and cheerful way to end the season.
“We are trying to lighten the mood after the season we have had.
“We chose clowns as it is an easy theme for people to join in with if they want to.
“We are hoping there will be a couple of hundred people all dressed up.
“People can wear any clown outfit they like.
“We are trying to put smiles on peoples’ faces.”
The fun-filled idea finishes off what has been a turbulent year for the club which had been on the verge of going into administration.
John, who has been a Pools fan for the 55 years, added: “At the end of the season, however we finish, we want to get people together to forget about it all and enjoy themselves.
“The match will be live on BT Sport so it should attract a bit more attention.
“It has grown from a group of lads and everyone seems to have joined in which is brilliant.
“As a group we have been doing this for 12 years and have dressed up as things such as Smurfs, Oompa Lumpas, penguins and mime artists, so we have done a bit of everything.
“The Oompa Lumpas were great as it caught a load of people by surprise and attracted a lot of attention.
“People wonder why we keep these a secret but it just helps keep the interest and the fun. There are 100 of us in my group who are travelling down on the train all dressed up. I was quite surprised that people are still up for it after the season we have had, but it just shows that you can’t take away our spark.
“It is all about raising the spirits of people. “If we can put some smiles on kids faces it is all worthwhile.”