Schools and businesses across Hartlepool were a sea of blue and white as the town came together to support its football club.
Pupils and staff were encouraged to wear football strips or the colours of Hartlepool United ahead of today’s Save Pools Day.
A sell-out crowd will today roar Pools on against Wrexham at Victoria Park, with football supporters from across the world having been donating to the club’s cause over recent days in a bid to help it stave off the threat of administration.
The town’s schools did their bit yesterday, with a host of them holding non-uniform days and encouraging donations.
Lynnfield Primary School asked children to wear Hartlepool United shirts, and took in donations of £252.
Teacher Louise Preston said: “It went really well.
A lot of the parents were really supportive and keen to donate to the causeLouise Preston
“A lot of the parents were really supportive and keen to donate to the cause.
“All of the children were aware of what it was all about and had been talking about it in class.”
St Bega’s RC Primary School pupils wore football shirts and raffled a signed football, while children had the chance to get their picture taken with Pools mascot H’Angus the Monkey. They raised over £300.
Headteacher Jane Dolphin said: “The children all came in wearing blue and white clothes, as well as football strips.”
Throston Primary School had a non-uniform day, raffled a signed football and raised £539.55, while at St Teresa’s Primary School, pupils wore football shirts or sportswear and raised money.
Staff of the club’s main sponsor, Utility Alliance, meanwhile, raised between £400 and £500 with a bucket collection and football card, and staff were invited to wear football shirts.
Bosses at the firm then decided to donate an extra £2,000, taking the total up to £2,500.
PR and marketing manager Ian Willis said: “We sent an email out to all staff asking them to do their bit to help save Pools, and the response was brilliant.
“We invited them to wear a football shirt and had representation from many clubs, from Hartlepool to Newcastle United, Sunderland and Middlesbrough.
“It was a fantastic gesture from the bosses to donate an extra £2,000.
“I’m sure the money will be put to good use.”
Football fans at Hartlepool Borough Council also got in on the act with a ‘Wear Your Pools Shirt To Work Day’.
Staff across the authority were encouraged to wear their Pools or other team shirt in exchange for a donation of £1 or more to the cause.