Die-hard Hartlepool United fan donates season ticket prize from National League sponsor Vanarama

A kind-hearted Pools fan has linked up with the Club’s Community Sports Foundation and Safe Families For Children to donate season tickets he won in a competition to a worthy cause.

Friday, 20th September 2019, 5:45 pm
Updated Friday, 20th September 2019, 7:28 pm
Mark Carroll with Safe Families For Children
Mark Carroll with Safe Families For Children

When loyal supporter Mark Carroll realised he’d got lucky in a competition run by the National League’s title-sponsors, Vanarama, he knew immediately that he wanted to donate the prize to charity.

Mark is already a Season Ticket holder at The Vic and has only missed two games home or away since 2006, so his mind began to wander to how he could pass on the two season tickets he’d won.

“Not only do I have a Season Ticket but so do all my friends and family,” said Mark.

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“When I checked the list of winners and saw my name I knew that I wanted the tickets to go to a deserving cause and thought straight away about the Club’s Community Sports Foundation.

“I knew they would be able to use them for good themselves or be able to point me in the direction of an appropriate charity that would be able to benefit from them.”

Foundation staff made contact with Safe Families For Children, a local charity who work hand-in-hand with children’s services to link families in need with volunteers who can offer them support.

The charity immediately identified a young family new to the town and for whom the donation of the Season Tickets would have a massive impact.

“The tickets are going to go to two football mad little boys, aged 8 and 12, who will now be coming to games with their father,” said Stacey Nicholas, a Family Support Manager for Safe Families.

“They’re very new to the area and don’t have a lot of friends or family nearby so it’s fantastic for them to be connected with Hartlepool United and have that sense of community – it’s what Safe Families is all about.

“They haven’t ever been to a football match before but they came to some of the Community Sports Foundation’s coaching courses during the summer and absolutely loved it.

“This family has been through some quite difficult circumstances in the past so to be able to come to football matches at The Vic will give them a really positive outlet and will be a brilliant experience.”

The Club agreed to turn two Season Tickets in to three so the dad could come along to The Vic with his two young sons, and Mark couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

“I’m delighted with the way the tickets are going to be used,” he added.

“Hopefully the young boys and their dad will come along and see a real community football club and just enjoy the football.

“We have a fantastic atmosphere at The Vic this season and I think it’s something that might take them by surprise so I hope they really enjoy it.

“The perfect result for me is that they get the bug and become lifelong Pools fans – then they can be stuck with it the same as we all are!”

For more information on the good work being done by Safe Families For Children and to find out how you can get involved as a volunteer visit www.safefamiliesforchildren.com/regions/north-east/.