A RUGBY club has set up a Crowdfunder page where supporters can help finance it through upcoming “challenges”.

Darlington Mowden Park has set up the page to help the club implement safety measures and allow teams to return to the pitch.

The crowdfund comes after a difficult time through the pandemic as, like many clubs, they have been unable to allow supporters in the Arena, which has seen them lose-out on valuable ticket and hospitality revenue.

The club has set an initial goal of £20,000 and already it has received £1,495 at the time of writing.

Mick Birch, Chairman of Darlington Mowden Park Rugby Football Club, said: “Covid-19 has been a huge challenge for everyone involved in the club.

“On a basic level it’s prevented the majority of our 26 teams from playing rugby, which is of course our primary function as a rugby club.

“Financially speaking, the various guidelines that are in place have restricted our club’s income across the board.

“Primarily the money raised will go towards ensuring that all our teams are able to return to play safely once the guidelines allow us to do so.

“This covers a lot of areas from medical support and Covid measures to pitch maintenance.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the support of our supporters throughout the entire process, really.

“Our members have been phenomenal, with so many of them renewing their subscriptions early.

“To have so many donations in the first 24 hours has been testament to the support of not only our own members but the wider rugby community.

“We’re hopeful that all of our teams will be back on the field at some point in the new year which I’m sure all of our players and supporters alike are very much looking forward to.”

People who donate to the crowdfund will also receive some awards such as entry into a prize draw, tickets to a match day once supporters can safely return, their name on the Darlington Mowden Park home shirt as well as their name on a Wall of Fame set to be installed in the club next summer.

Mr Birch added: “There are certainly a lot of challenges remaining for us to get back to the point of all our teams playing regularly and crowds being there to watch them.

“There’s a lot of work happening behind the scenes to plan for a safe return both on and off the field.

“Our women’s 1st XV, DMP Durham Sharks, recently returned to competitive league games which has been a step in the right direction for us.

“I’d just like to thank everyone who has already donated. I’ve been blown away by the generosity of our supporters and we’re very much looking forward to thanking everyone and celebrating their support in the near future.”

You can support the club at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/yourclub#start