At the end of another dramatic week for Darlington Football Club, administrator Harvey Madden writes for The Northern Echo and makes an impassioned plea to supporters.

SINCE I was appointed as the administrator of Darlington Football Club three weeks ago, I have been overwhelmed by the way the local community has rallied round.

As a lover of sport myself, it has been a pleasure – and at times quite moving – to see how much effort has gone in to saving the club.

Craig Liddle and his team have been admirable in the way they have handled an incredibly difficult situation. I admit it was hard to get the words out when I had to tell them that the club was dead a week-and-a-half ago – only to then be in a position to grant a reprieve when the Darlington FC Rescue Group came in with a £50,000 lifeline at the very last second.

The members of the rescue group have also been a credit to the club and the town. They have worked tirelessly to try to help me find time not just for a stay of execution, but a sustainable way forward.

The staff at the stadium have also done a truly amazing job, working for nothing to keep the club going. Ticketsellers, volunteer stewards, receptionists, caterers, bar workers, and ground staff – they all deserve a huge pat on the back for all they have done.

The community support has also been terrific, with volunteers coming forward to help prepare the pitch, and local businesses coming forward to provide support in so many different ways.

It is thanks to those efforts that we are now hopeful of being able to come to an arrangement which will save the club. Discussions are continuing with interested parties and, of course, that is to be welcomed. However, it should also be stressed that no formal offers have yet been lodged.

We have come a long way since that unforgettable day on Wednesday, January 18, but there is still a lot of work for us all to do if Darlington Football Club can look to the future with confidence.

It was wonderful to be at the home game against Fleetwood Town and see such a big increase on the normal attendance.

The atmosphere was superb as fans travelled the length of the country to stand shoulder to shoulder with Darlington fans.

What we have to do now is to maintain that momentum.

I’ve heard reports that York may bring up to 2,500 fans – let’s aim to at least match that and produce another huge Darlo roar for Craig Liddle and his players. Let’s show our potential buyer that last week’s show of support was not a one-off but that it can be repeated. Let’s show that the local community really does care about having a professional football club.