Middlesbrough fans offer to repay Pools in battle for survival
Middlesbrough football fans have offered to bring supporters to Hartlepool as part of efforts to try to save Pools from financial collapse.
Middlesbrough are away to QPR on the day of Pools’ next home game to Wrexham on Saturday, January 20.
On social media, a number of Middlesbrough fans are urging fellow supporters to attend the Hartlepool game if they can as part of Pools’ fans efforts to fill the ground and help raise £200,000 needed to avoid administration.
Boro fans have been rallying for Pools’ cause on social media declaring to help the club after Hartlepool United stepped in to help them in 1986 when Middlesbrough was facing extinction.
Steve Rock, chairman of the Middlesbrough Official Supporters Club, said he was sad at Pools’ situation and criticised the huge gulf in money in football between the top and lower levels of the game.
He said: “Hartlepool’s plight is very sad. It makes me physically sick when you think a club like Hartlepool and many others are left to splash around and try and survive and it’s just not fair.”
He added: “What Hartlepool did for us back in 86 will never be forgotten.
“I think it’s an excellent thing [Middlesbrough fans offering to go to Hartlepool].
“I would certainly encourage anybody to go and watch Hartlepool who has an interest.
“A lot of fans went for the last game of the season against Doncaster.
“The word is out there.”
One Boro fan wrote on Facebook: “For those too young to remember those fateful days of 1986 when our beloved club almost went out of existence.
“Only 1 club in the entire North East offered us into their club and allowed us to ground share and more importantly allow us to fulfil our 1985-86 fixtures.
“Without their undoubted generosity catastrophe would have engulfed or club team and standing in the football league.
“With this still deep inside the hearts and minds of Middlesbrough supporters and moreover the club and town as a whole I feel as a football club we have an amazing opportunity to now meet our long-standing obligation to Hartlepool FC in their hour of need.
“To do the honourable thing in assisting them in anyway our club can to stop the potential club from extinction as they did for us some 32 years ago.”
On Twitter, Boro Fan TV, a dedicated Boro fan TV channel, said: “In 1986, faced with liquidation, Boro needed Hartlepool United to loan us their ground.
“This saved our club. Now Hartlepool are in trouble and may go under.
“Time for us to repay that favour Boro Fans.”