Fans react as club chairman Geoff Thompson announces plans put South Shields Football Club up for sale

“In the meantime and throughout any transitional period, it remains business as usual.”

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South Shields Football Club fans have started reacting to the news club chairman Geoff Thompson has announced his intention to sell the National League North Club.

Thompson has been a popular figure at the club after entering the role in 2015 when the club were in the Northern League and is set to leave the 1st Cloud Arena after three promotions and a FA Vase win at Wembley.

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The club now sits in the second tier of non league football and remain in third position at the time of the announcement.

The statement from the chairman reads: “It has been an absolute pleasure to chair my home town football club since 2015.”

“It has been an incredible journey and we have achieved so much in the last eight years. I’m proud of the impact our club and Foundation have had on our fantastic community and am truly humbled by the backing and support we have received from our tremendous fans, the business community and other stakeholders.

“I’d love to continue the journey with you but as many of you will know, I was diagnosed with cancer last year. Although my recovery is going well and, hopefully, the worst is over, I need to put my health ahead of my various business interests. For that reason I have decided to sell my interest in the club.

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“It’s not a decision I have taken lightly. I have always acted in the best interests of the club and while in ordinary circumstances I would choose to continue, it’s time for others to take the next stage of the journey with you.

“In the meantime and throughout any transitional period, it remains business as usual.

“Thank you for your continued support.”

Thompson is a hugely popular figure at the club, guiding The Mariners through the most successful period of their history and fans have been quick to thank the local hero.

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One twitter user responded to the news saying: “You have given me the best memories as a football supporter.

“I’m sure you’ll find the right person to take the club forward. I sincerely hope your recovery continues, good luck and thank you.”

Another added: “What Geoff has done for the club is almost miraculous. No fan could have asked for more.”

Other football fans were quick to wish Thompson well after he gave his reasons for stepping away from the role. One said “First and foremost, I hope he makes a full recovery. Health first.”

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On Facebook another fan, Alan Dowson said: “best of luck, your health must come first. “I’m sure the club will continue to thrive.”

The effort Thompson put into the club has also been recognised early on by some fans, with supporter Steven Lorrison saying: “Top guy, fantastic attitude and enthusiasm not only for the club but the town, environment and life in general. Thank you for all your hard work Geoff.”