EBAC Northern League Division Two club Hebburn Town have made a passionate plea for the local community to get behind them as falling attendances threaten the immediate future of the club.
The resurgance of South Shields seems to have had a negative impact on their South Tyneside neighbours, with one recent fixture having only sixteen people in attendance.
Now the club has revealed that they are making a loss on home games, with players deciding to go without payments of expenses to try and help the club.
With fellow Northern League club Norton and Stockton Ancients already having resigned from the league this season, Hebburn are now doing all they can to avoid the same fate, a fate that could bring an end to their 115-year history.
The club released a statement on Monday urging people to support them.
It read “Hebburn Town FC is the Town’s senior football club,” a club statement read. “For over 100 years it has presented a positive sporting image for Hebburn across the region.
“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.
“NonLeague 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.”
Article: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily)