Fans’ joy as Poppies are reprieved

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The news that the winding up order against Kettering Town Football Club has been rescinded has been greeted with joy by fans.

The 141-year-old club faced closure until a Facebook campaign helped it raise enough money to pay off its debts, leading to the winding up order being rescinded by the High Court on Monday. The club now has 28 days to clear its debts.

A fundraising match and Facebook page helped raise more than £30,000, with football fans from around the world and from clubs big and small giving money.

The winding up order was served after the club owed unpaid rent on its previous home at Nene Park in Rushden. It now plays at Latimer Park, the home of Burton Wanderers. It’s off-field problems have seen the club fall from the fifth to the eighth tier of English football in one season.

Speaking after the decision, Poppies chairman Ritchie Jeune said: “It’d be nice to focus on the on-field side now and get behind the team.”

Vince Geranio, of Vince the Barbers in Hawthorn Road, Kettering, has been a Poppies fan for 41 years. He said: “I’m ecstatic. The fans deserve it, they’re the best in the world. And hats off to Ritchie, I couldn’t think of a better chairman to take the club forward. Now we can try and get into the play-offs and get promoted.”

Alex Ridley has supported the club for 20 years. She said: “Obviously we are all delighted and relieved. We can build for the future now, it’s onwards and upwards.

“What Ritchie Jeune has done for the club is incredible, he’s put everything into it; he and all the volunteers who work behind the scenes.”

Fans reacted with joy on the club’s Facebook page as well. Geoff Marshall posted: “Great news. Thank you Ritchie from all Poppies fans here down under in Oz.” And David Short wrote: “Best result this season. Well done Ritchie.”