Community pulls together for Darlo
Offers of beer and brass bands are among the gestures that have been gratefully accepted by the group responsible for saving Darlington from extinction.
The Blue Square Bet Premier club were on the brink of closure when the Darlington Football Club Rescue Group negotiated a deal with administrators to secure the Quakers' future for the next three games earlier this week.
The group have since been inundated with offers of support, and Rescue Group spokesman Doug Embleton said: "We just wanted to provide this window of opportunity for various other parties to get round the table and see what could be resolved for the club's longer-term future. Otherwise, the club was gone. The club was dead, but not yet buried."
The group are hoping for a big crowd, potentially 7,000 or more, for Saturday's home game against Fleetwood, while off the pitch discussions continue with potential investors better placed to secure the long-term future of the club.
Plenty of other groups and individuals have also been helping out as the club prepare for what they hope will be a game played in front of a very healthy crowd by Conference standards.
"The response has been fantastic," Embleton added.
"A local brewery is providing, free of charge, the beer for all the bars - a local brewery from our nearest football rivals Hartlepool, which is lovely because that's what football is about at the end of the day.
"Another person wanted to put money in to buy all the pies that we could then sell, but the club has a separate franchise arrangement. However, he has put that money in anyway as a symbolic gesture.
"We've got volunteers helping out with the pitch and with the admin, because on normal match days we don't sell as many tickets.
"Ticket sales are hot. The club have printed 7,000 tickets but we can go above that with the crowd. If we go above that other sections of the ground can be opened up - old-fashioned football, pay on the gate and take your seat. As another nod to traditional three o'clock football, we've got two volunteer brass bands on the pitch as well."
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