Appeal to save 105-year-old football club as it faces extinction

Hebburn Town's players have foregone their expenses to try and help the club survive
Hebburn Town's players have foregone their expenses to try and help the club survive

Officials at cash-strapped Hebburn Town have launched an impassioned plea to help save the 105-year-old football club.

The Hornets, who play in Northern League Division Two, are struggling for support and finances as they battle to stay afloat

Earlier this month, team manager Scott Oliver revealed to the Gazette that the club is making a loss at home games and attendances are at the lowest in their history, placing a huge question mark over the club's future.

And in a statement today, the club's committee appealed to the community to come out in force to help them survive.

In a statement titled 'Save Hebburn' they said: "Hebburn Town FC is the Town’s senior football club. For over 100 years it has presented a positive sporting image for Hebburn across the region.

"Currently playing in Northern League Division Two, Hebburn Town have had some great days, recently getting to the final preliminary round of the FA Cup only a few years ago, when we were the lowest ranked team left in the competition. Victory against local rivals Gateshead could have seen the club draw Sheffield Wednesday amongst others in the next round.

"In a football mad area its committee are drawn from local people who support their local club as well as Newcastle, Sunderland or Darlington. People who want to watch football live, not on a TV.

"Non-league football clubs across the region are finding it tough however. Norton & Stockton Ancients went pop earlier in the season and others are facing the same fate. Falling gates and revenues, lack of sponsors and increasing costs are forcing many clubs at this level to look at themselves.

"The notable exception to this downward spiral is South Shields who have performed fantastically well of late. We genuinely wish them well and cast envious eyes to their remarkable turnaround. When we played them but three years ago at Peterlee, their home at the time, we won 1-0 and there were almost as many Hebburn fans in the crowd as South Shields. Times change.

"Their committee are just as passionate and committed as we are and fully deserve what they are currently enjoying.

"Hebburn are currently playing to falling gates and have barely enough money to survive.

"This is a message to the people of Hebburn. If you want to help us keep the club alive now is the time to act. If you want to keep Northern League football in the time help us. Once it is lost we will never get it back. Other clubs would gladly take our place and take their chances. Once it’s gone it’s gone.

"Where will the youngsters from the magnificent Hebburn Town Juniors play in the future if the senior side goes down? We would all love to see a team full of local lads doing well in the league. We want to still be there to provide the highest possible platform for the youngsters of Hebburn for generations to come.

"If it wasn’t for the steadfast, unbelievable and generous support from sponsors like Premier Scaffolding Services Limited & Phoenix Steel we would already be gone, McArdle Care and A&P Tyne have also made regular and very welcome donations amongst others. All support, however small, is welcome and greatly appreciated.

"If it wasn’t for the help we receive from pubs and clubs like the Wardley and The Iona Club there would already be no Hebburn Town.

"A special mention goes to our loyal band of followers, especially the “Hebburn Hecklers” who come to every game.

"We are also encouraged by the tremendous response from the current squad of players who have come together to try and help the club by foregoing expenses and doing what they can to get their own friends, family and employers involved.

"Please help us to continue fighting and punching above our weight in what is genuinely considered to be one of the the best non-league divisions in the country."

Hebburn have six home games left this season, starting against league leaders Team Northumbria on Saturday (3pm kick-off). Tickets cost £5 full price with concessions £3 and kids only £1.

The club is also looking for local companies to sponsor a game or have a advertising board around the ground, while their second strip is also looking for a sponsor.

They are also organising a Sportsmans Dinner next month while the club's life president, actor and comedia Jason Cook, is holding a 'Let’s All laugh at Hebburn' comedy night on Monday, September 18 at the Stand in Newcastle. Tickets for both events will be available soon.