Former Sunderland striker Danny Graham has donated £2,500 to a crowd-funding page set up to help save Hartlepool United.

The Pools have been left needing to raise £200,000 by January 25 for costs such as wages and bills or they risk administration.  A page was set-up by Hartlepool supporter Rachel Cartwright on which in two days has raised over £28,000, of which £2,500 was donated by Graham – now at League One side Blackburn Rovers.

His donation was accompanied by the message which read: “Good luck Hartlepool United hope you reach your target … I’m sure you will hopefully the whole of the north east get behind u (sic) and all the football fans out there.”

On his decision to make the donation, the Gateshead-born footballer told us: “I only found out about it last night, to be honest. My brother is on Twitter – I don’t do all that anymore – but he told me about it.

“I live in Wynyard now, so it’s actually only up the road from Hartlepool. I’m from Gateshead so I know what North East football means to everyone in the region, I just thought it would be a nice gesture to try and help out.

“Hopefully it gets a few more involved. They’re a well-supported team and it would be such a shame for any fans to lose their club.

“Football is a big part of people’s lives, particularly in the North East, and I know what that’s like from growing up there, so it was just a gesture to try and give a little extra help. Hopefully somewhere down the road they will properly sort it out.

“Slipping out of the Football League will have hurt them massively but hopefully they can get it turned around.”

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