A Worksop Town flag flutters in the breeze in the civic square, as a symbol of support for the world’s fourth oldest club.
Tigers boss Mark Shaw was joined by Guardian editor Ben Green and council leader Simon Greaves to raise the flag on Wednesday morning.
The Guardian and Greaves have joined the ‘500 Club’ – a scheme set up by Tigers to raise the £100,000 they need to survive and develop.
That sum of money will not only pay the overheads for the coming season, but allow the club to work on Shaw’s plan for becoming a self sufficient, community based organisation.
Shaw explained the idea, that has already attracted the support of local firms like the Grafton pub who took an incredibly generous five memberships, MP John Mann, club officials and a number of supporters.
He said: “The 500 Club is an initiative to save Worksop Town Football Club.”
“It’s a £200 membership that will see the club’s members get involved with the town’s businesses.”
“It’s an initiative to raise £100,000 to secure the club’s long term future.”
The benefits for members will include a season ticket, discounts on club merchandise and goods and services from local businesses.
“They’ll be able to watch their football team play, which was a big worry at the start of the month.”
“They’ll also be able to get discounts from local firms,” said Shaw.
As the Guardian went to print, 46 memberships had been taken up – less than 10 per cent of the club’s target.
Shaw pleaded with the people of Worksop to bump up the numbers.
“The response has been good, the numbers are rising – probably not quick enough to save the club however.”
“We need people to get behind the scheme.”
“There will be football played at Sandy Lane next season, of a good standard, we just need people to start pledging as soon as possible.”
Along with membership of the 500 Club, the Guardian is committed to spreading word of the club’s plight far and wide.
Next week’s paper will carry a special feature where local firms can show their support for Tigers, and the advertising team are working hard to attract more members – with several businesses, including McDonalds, already pledging to sign up.
Any company joining the 500 Club will have their logo displayed free of charge, and their name listed in the ‘roll of honour’ in the sports pages every week.
And our advertising reps will be out and about in town, dressed in Tigers kits, delivering the 500 Club literature to the town’s businesses.
The editor said: “The Worksop Guardian are fully behind the 500 Club.”
“Worksop Town are the world’s fourth oldest club, and them ceasing to exist is just not an option in our eyes.”
“Everyone at the Guardian is doing all we can to make sure the club has a long and prosperous future, both in terms of support editorially and also our advertising team drumming up support from local businesses.”
Bassetlaw Council leader Greaves pleaded for his fellow townsfolk to add their names to the roll of honour.
“We do not want to see this club fail.”
“The fourth oldest club in the world, based in Worksop, cemented in the community must not go under.”
“We’re going to do as much as we can to secure the future of the club.”
“Join up, it’s imperative that everyone gets behind it.”
“It’s not a large amount of money but it can make a huge difference.”
“We want to see more local people, more businesses signed up to the 500 Club, that’s the way they’ll have a successful future.”
It is not yet known which level the club will find themselves at next season, but without 500 Club members, there won’t be a club.