FORMER Darlington manager David Hodgson has become the latest figure to throw his weight behind the club’s ongoing fundraising initiative.

Supporters and local businesses have until February 24 to invest in a fund that will help the Quakers to return to Darlington next season.

Plans to ground-share with Darlington Rugby Club at their Blackwell Meadows base are at an advanced stage, and with the £75,000 received from Fulham as part of Dan Burn’s transfer to the London club having provided a welcome financial boost, any revenue raised ahead of this weekend’s deadline will go straight towards next season’s planned return to the town.

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Hodgson, who has had three separate spells as Quakers boss, has been watching the club’s progress under manager Martin Gray with interest, and is urging fans and businesses alike to support the next stage of the regeneration plan.

“I’m behind the club like everyone else in and around Darlington, supporting what has been achieved so far by Martin Gray and the current football club board,” said Hodgson. “The roots have been planted, it needs to go forward with the help of the whole community, local businesses and every Darlington fan.

“We’re going forward and, with further investment and the financial help from everybody, we can go even further.

“The amount that the club has raised so far is incredible and I would urge anyone still thinking about making an investment to do so now and play your part in helping the football club move back to its home town and continue to climb the leagues”.

By investing in the equity or gift/reward schemes, investors can become fully-fledged shareholders by donating any sum from £100 to £7,500, and also receive official Darlington Football Club benefits.

If that is unaffordable, fans can set up standing orders or make one off donations through either the DFC Development Fund or the Back to Darlo fund. Full details are on the club’s website at www.darlington1883.co.uk and pledges made by cheque can be made at Quaker Retail in the indoor market.