Hartlepool’s Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling has joined the call to help save the steel industry on Teesside.
Popular presenter Jeff, who hails from Hartlepool, has joined actor Neil Grainger, who starred in BBC2 sitcom Hebburn, to appear in a campaign video with the message, Save Our Steel.
The two-minute video was posted on Faceboook by Neil in response to the announcement by the Steelmakers SSI that their site in Redcar was to be mothballed, meaning the loss of 1,700 jobs and the potential end of the 160-year history of steel production on Teesside.
It features striking images of the steelworks and voiceovers from people saying they’re “proud” of their heritage as Chris Rea’s Steel River plays in the background.
Neil posted the video on his Facebook page, saying: “We all know what David Cameron has done, but watch what he hasn’t done. Sign the petition to Save Steel on Teesside.”
The petition has already gained more than 18,000 signatures.
In the video, Jeff says: “My dad was a steel worker. I know how important this is.
“Get behind the campaign.”
It also features Teesside actor Mark Benton, sports commentator Chris Kamara and many others with the message, “Save our steel”.
Neil appears wearing a T-shirt baring the slogan, and says: “Save our steel. Please help. Sign the petition. Please share, like, re-tweet this video as much as you can.”
My dad was a steel worker. I know how important this is.Jeff Stelling
SSI, the Thai owners of the Redcar plant announced the 1,700 jobs at the site would go amid the falling global steel prices.
Prior to the announcement, there were calls for the Government to step in to help the struggling industry.
This week Hartlepool MP Iain Wright said the mothballing of the SSI plant at Redcar affects the whole region, including Hartlepool, and several other industries that use British steel.
He said: “Although the closure of the plant will hit Redcar hardest, people in our town are directly affected too.
“This is a significant matter, it is about whether our country thinks that a UK steel industry is important.”
To sign the petition, go to petition.parliament.uk/petitions/109039