MICK WADSWORTH last night toasted the success of Hartlepool United’s £100 season ticket offer by urging his players to reward the fans by delivering in League One next season.

Fifty-three days after Pools launched the offer to fans to purchase season tickets for £100 if they sold 4,000, the milestone was reached last night with queues still forming at the club shop.

It means supporters are effectively watching every Hartlepool home game in League One next season for just £4.38 per game. Under 19s will be watching for just £2.17 per match after learning their tickets cost just £50.

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Now Wadsworth, whose squad return from a two-match pre-season trip to Holland today, wants his squad to repay the fans for their support by performing in League One.

“It’s been a staggering response from our supporters,” said Wadsworth, aware their first home league game with Walsall on August 13 should attract well in excess of 5,000.

“We knew the offer was a good one when we laid it out but it was up to the fans to get out and show their support and they have done that and really backed us.

“Everyone inside the football club is delighted. The supporters made a real difference last season and created a great atmosphere even though the attendances weren’t as large as the other clubs in the division. Hopefully this season can only benefit the season because there will be impressive numbers coming through the door.”

After returning from Holland tonight, Hartlepool are due to play their first pre-season game at Victoria Park against Barnsley next Tuesday.

A Pools XI then face Blyth, Whitby, Harrogate and York before Sunderland travel down to Victoria Park for Ritchie Humphreys’ testimonial on August 2.

Sunderland have been given an initial 900 tickets for the match, but Hartlepool have been given permission to open up the turnstiles on the day for fans from both clubs. Fans are still urged, however, to purchase tickets in advance.

*Fans still wishing to take advantage of the £100 (£50 for Under-19s) season ticket offer can head for the club ticket office or call (01429) 272584.