One mission is completed as Poppies appeal for new help

Kettering Town supporters have completed a big fundraising mission but now they are being asked for more as the club bids to keep turning over during the coronavirus crisis.

Monday, 23rd March 2020, 8:43 am
Updated Monday, 23rd March 2020, 8:46 am
A new covered terrace, similar to the one already at Latimer Park, will be installed after a big fundraising initiative was completed. Picture by Peter Short

It was in December 2018 that the Kettering Town (Poppies) Supporters Trust launched a fundraising appeal to raise £25,000 to install a new covered terrace at Latimer Park.

Thanks to a number of initiatives, including a sponsored FA Cup Hall of Fame, a sponsored selfie competition, a board of sponsors, a race night and a memorabilia auction, that target has now been hit.

Despite there being no action on the pitch, the club are still trying to push on with their ground improvements to bring Latimer Park up to the appropriate standard for the Vanarama National League North to ensure the Poppies can continue to play at the level should they avoid relegation when (and if) the season resumes.

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That includes the installation of a new 250-seater stand and new turnstiles but a new terrace will now be added as the building work at the ground continues, even after the necessary improvements have been made.

The fundraising idea was the brainchild of Trust vice-chairman Richard Atkinson but, with no income now available from matchdays, the Trust and the club itself are hoping fans will be able to give a bit more over the next few weeks.

The Trust have already launched a ‘300 Club’ to help keep the club going and tickets can be purchased by visiting the website www.poppiestrust.co.uk.

But that has now been followed by a direct appeal from long-serving club president Ken Samuel who has launched his ‘President’s Appeal’ as he attempts to raise funds while the league season is suspended.

Samuel said: “These are difficult times for us all, individuals, families, business owners, employers and employees.

“As president of Kettering Town Football Club, whilst I am not on the board of directors, I am in close contact with the club which I have supported for over 65 years.

“The club is run on a sound, sensible financial basis. It has to be - and the lessons of bygone years have been well learned.

“However, it now finds itself in a situation where vital income from home games has been lost as has any income from the now closed clubhouse.

“While the government and football authorities will decide, in time, on any assistance that can be provided to clubs like Kettering, the normal financial commitments incurred by the club, including the major expenditure of wages, rent and other overheads, continue.

“I am therefore appealing to our fans to again help in a time of need.

“Over recent seasons and months our supporters have been tremendous and very generous in donating money to help the club, particularly for ground improvements, which are now coming to fruition.

“The Trust have launched a ‘300 Club’ which I fully support and will be buying tickets.

“The club, however, does need large sums of cash now to meet existing and continued financial obligations, and all within the next month.

“I realise that some supporters are facing hard times and this is not for you.

“I also recognise that I’m calling on supporters to demonstrate their generosity yet again, receiving little in return other than the satisfaction of knowing we’re all trying to support the club at such a difficult time.”

Anyone who is able to donate can do so to: Kettering Town FC. HSBC Kettering. Sort Code 40-26-07. Account number 81305646, quoting reference PRESAPP

If anyone would like to donate but are unable to do a bank transfer, they can email to [email protected]