Poolies help Darlington cause

West View Primary School headteacher Andy Brown tempts pupil and Hartlepool United supporter Taylor Robinson into putting on a Darlington shirt, as teachers and fellow Hartlepool United supporters Jonathan Armstrong and Sue Horton look on
West View Primary School headteacher Andy Brown tempts pupil and Hartlepool United supporter Taylor Robinson into putting on a Darlington shirt, as teachers and fellow Hartlepool United supporters Jonathan Armstrong and Sue Horton look on

DON’T whisper it too loudly – but the headteacher at Hartlepool’s West View Primary School is a Darlington fan.

Andy Brown is a big Quakers supporter and with the help of his generous colleagues did his bit to help the struggling club, which are historically Hartlepool United’s closest rival.

All last week primary schools throughout Darlington organised non-uniform days in support of the Blue Square Premier side, which faces going out of business unless a buyer secures a deal for the club by close of play today.

And Mr Brown did his bit for the cause by letting teaching staff at the school, in Hartlepool’s Davison Drive, dress down for a school day – as long as they made a donation.

He even doubled the donation of the staff who wore their Hartlepool United shirts.

The quirky fundraiser raised £80 for the club, which came within moments of collapse earlier this month before a supporter’s group handed over £50,000 which kept the club alive until a new deadline today.

“What a lot of people don’t know is that I am a big Darlington fan and a member of Darlington Supporters’ Trust,” said Mr Brown.

“Obviously, as a fan, it’s terrible what’s happening at the club at the minute so all the support we can get is a huge help.

“All of the schools in Darlington were organising non-uniform days so I thought it was just something a little bit different to do ourselves and let the staff come in their casual clothes and Pools shirts.”

Mr Brown has been at both of Darlington’s home games since the club was bailed out by the fans earlier this month.

He is confident the Quakers will survive until at least the end of the season. But he thinks it is vital they leave their 25,000 seater stadium to ensure longer-term stability.

The headteacher praised staff and pupils at the school for supporting the fundraising day and said everyone saw the fun side of the fundraiser.

“I asked Taylor Robinson, one of our pupils, if he wanted to wear a Darlington shirt for the photograph, but he said he wouldn’t dare,” joked Mr Brown.

“All the kids were taking the mickey out of me for being a Darlington fan, but they were all really supportive.

“It was a good laugh and it was nice to raise the amount we did.”

Would you help the Quakers? Write to the Mail at New Clarence House, Wesley Square, Hartlepool TS24 8BX or email mail.news@northeast-press.co.uk