Mascot places, stadium tours and matchday tickets funded by supporters' group
Boro fans rally round to make youngsters' dreams come true
Boro fans have teamed up to ensure young supporters’ dreams really do come true.
The Boro Real Fans Believe In Dreams group was born after a successful fundraising effort to treat a young Boro fan.
As reported, a Facebook campaign by Jenny Fowles, 46, of Thornaby, process technician Tony Wedlake, 40, of Marton and self-employed fencing contractor Jimmy Wilson, 56, of Stockton, successfully arranged for Boro-mad Zac Roberts, six, to be mascot for the Charlton home game.
Zac was given the first mascot’s place to be secured by the group, but matchday tickets, stadium tours and other mascot places have also been arranged after the idea struck a chord with Boro fans.
Hundreds of supporters are now part of the group on Facebook. And it’s taken off so quickly, an estimated 450 children will have a had a Boro experience by the end of the season.
To buy four season tickets - two adult, two junior - and a mascot place, the group needed to raise £1,500 in three weeks. They actually raised £1,800 - allowing another mascot place to be bought, and proving there was a real fans’ appetite to help.
There have already been many highlights, including stadium visits by children from the Cornerhouse Project, A Way Out and Priory Woods School. And Park End youngster Harrison Spencer, whose bike was damaged when he was knocked off it by a car, now has a new one - again, courtesy of Boro Real Fans Believe In Dreams
Another mascot place has been secured for the January 2 clash with Derby County, with two more places set to be bought for later in the season. And a fundraiser on November 6 at the Ironopolis Club, featuring live entertainment, raffles and an auction, will help fund the group’s most ambitious treat yet - a massive Christmas Disney Winter Wonderland at Eston Sports Centre on December 13 for around 100 youngsters.
All three founders say they are amazed how much the group - which has its own logo designed by Mark Whelpton and aims to become a registered charity - has taken off.
The group also hopes to hold a flag day and even arrange a trip to an away game.
Jimmy said: “By the end of the season, I reckon over 450 kids will have had various experiences from us and we will have introduced 300 young people to Middlesbrough FC. And next year, we hope to double the number of season tickets and more mascots.”
Tony said: “450 kids are going to have a very special experience this season through us and we’ve only been going since July.”
And Jenny added: “The main thing is seeing those kids smile - that’s why we do it.”
* Donations are needed for raffle and auction prizes. Please call Jimmy 01642 641102, Tony on 07577 436575 or Jenny 01642 643267, or visit the group’s Facebook page.