THOUSANDS of people turned out to support the new-look Darlington Football Club yesterday -to the delight of Quakers chiefs.

An open event to bring the club closer to its community roots exceeded all expectations, and will be followed by more positive developments today.

Officials will meet at the Williamson Motors Stadium to agree the way forward for a project to create a study centre in part of the Neasham Road venue.

The scheme has been developed with Sedgefield Community College, and the club is keen for it to become a valuable educational resource for schools and the community.

Three options were drawn up after Darlington bosses examined the success of similar projects at Newcastle, Midd-lesbrough, Sunderland, Leeds and Scunthorpe.

The preferred choice will be agreed today, with the centre expected to have up to 25 computers for the public to use.

The club was in a buoyant mood last night after thousands of people visited the stadium to enjoy exhibitions, meet the players and take behind-the-scenes tours of the £20m ground.

Last night, chief executive Andy Battison said he was overwhelmed by the success of the day and the enthusiasm of visitors.

He said: "It has been fantastic, absolutely tremendous. The take-up for the tours was incredible; people were queuing up solidly since 10am. We had more than 3,000 people on the tours and loads more enjoying things outside."

The open day and fun day wrapped up a positive weekend for the Quakers, who secured a 1-1 away draw against Rochdale on Saturday.

Mr Battison said plans to honour more former Darlington players by naming corporate boxes after them were still being made.

Read more about the Quakers here.