Hitchin Town Football Club’s Save HTFC campaign is gathering momentum and a strategy has been formulated to ensure maximum exposure for this important initiative.
The club has been heartened by the widespread support for the future of its historic stadium, Top Field. This has resulted in a number of new helpers being introduced to the club.
Following a series of meetings, it was decided to move the “free game” to Saturday December 6, when Poole Town will visit Top Field. This decision was made to enable the club to align the free entry game with a proposed protest march on the same day. A carefully-coordinated march requires Police approval, which can take time, and the original date of November 29 was felt to be too soon to allow for such approvals. Proposals for December 6 have now been submitted to the Police and the club awaits approval.
To ensure efforts are concentrated on the march, a separate committee has been established. To publicise this event and harness full support from the local community, the club will run a stall in the Hitchin Market Square on November 15. Leaflets and a petition are also being prepared and will be available at the stall.
Leaflets will be distributed to 12,000 houses across Hitchin and posters will appear in the town to support the campaign. The club is also grateful to the backing of the local media: the Comet and Mercury have promised ongoing publicity and the Non-League Paper’s editor, Stuart Hammonds, is working to get the club’s plight publicized via Radio 5’s Non-League Football Show.
Both the Hertfordshire Football Association and the Hitchin Sunday League are helping the club to publicise December 6. The club is also contacting all local societies and the business community to enlist their support.
Hitchin Town Football Clubs urges its loyal supporters to “bring a friend” on December 6. The target is to attract 2,000 people to the game, a considerable challenge but such is the underlying feeling for the club in the town, it is a figure that can be achieved.
The planned protest march will be as follows (beginning at 12.00 midday):
Top Field > Butts Close > Brand Street > Bancroft > Fishponds Road > Top Field
The club hopes to include guest speakers for the march and Hitchin manager Mark Burke has committed to ensure the club’s players take part before playing the game against Poole.
The club is aiming to make December 6 a concerted day of protest and action.
The club’s message is clear:
“We do not want a supermarket at Top Field. It is not just Save Top Field or Save HTFC, it is also saving the very fabric of Hitchin. We urge non-fans to attend the game as the very future of the town is at stake. Entry will be free, but the club invites – and hopes – that those attending the game will make a donation to the Save HTFC Fund. The club has a number of other ideas to follow, but the first milestone in the campaign is the march and the game on December 6. The club will advise the public of its ongoing activities as and when they are known. “
Once again, please note that the march is subject to Police approval.