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Bid to build extra stand for fans in 24 hours beaten by the clock
IT was a brave effort to get fans accommodated in a new £50,000 stand for the Darlington FC’s first home game last night – but workers ran out of time.
Contractors fresh from the Olympics had hoped to have seating for about 300 people erected in less than 24 hours at Bishop Auckland ’s Heritage Park, where the Quakers have made their temporary home after the club was rescued by supporters.
But the concrete had not set in time.
Darlington FC 1883 chairman Denis Pinnegar said: “It was a superb effort to get the stand ready.
“People were literally working right up to the last minute – we could have done with extra time.
“Unfortunately, it was not quite ready – but it will be ready for the next game.”
Only half the new stand was expected to be ready for use last night, with the remaining seating still to pass safety checks.
Mr Pinnegar said the contractor hired to supply and erect the new stand, Star Events Group, had been unable to provide the stand sooner because it has been working at London 2012.
The seating will eventually be covered, once planning permission for this work has been secured.
Darlington FC intends to take the stand with the club when a permanent home is found in Darlington.
Terry Jackson, chairman of Bishop Auckland FC, yesterday thanked Durham County Council for facilitating the speedy building of the stand, as well as landlord and developer Terrace Hill for its support for the project.
Among those attending last night’s game against Marske United were the mayors of Darlington and Bishop Auckland, councillors Paul Baldwin and Charlie Kay. Peter Barron, editor of The Northern Echo and an advisor to DFC 1883, also attended.
Tori Gill, Darlington FC 1883 board member, said before last night’s game: “Back in January we didn’t think we would play again, but here we are playing our first home game – it’s a very exciting moment.”
Mrs Gill said Saturday’s game against Bishop Auckland had increased fans’ enthusiasm for the supporter-run club.
She added: “The Darlington FC shop in the market is heaving. I met five people who were buying season tickets after going to the match on Saturday.
“They had really enjoyed the experience of watching at Heritage Park and liked the way the club was now being run.”