Montrose FC fans from around the world have helped to raise thousands of pounds to ensure their club can survive after lockdown.
The Gable Endies faithful have helped to generate almost £15,000 during the coronavirus pandemic for the Scottish League One side in just a matter of weeks.
A JustGiving page was set up in March with a clear and defiant message to do “whatever it takes” to get the Links Park club through this unprecedented period.
Supporters Club chairman, Graham Christieson said he’s “never been prouder” of the club and its fans since the charity page smashed through its initial £5,000 target.
The 40-year-old, who has never missed a fixture since current manager, Stewart Petrie, took charge, said the fundraising effort had gone some way to “plug the gap” of having no football.
Speaking today he said donations from fans as far afield as the United States and New Zealand, as well as those closer to home, have ensured there is some cheer during the shutdown.
He added: “The last few weeks have been mind-blowing, it’s been a difficult period for everyone and the fans have certainly missed the football.
“The club never asked us to do this, we were aware there were a number of big fixtures still to take place, including ties against Falkirk and Raith Rovers and those gates would have been a big loss of revenue for the club.”
After being crowned the Scottish League Two champions in 2017/18 Graham said the fans wanted to give something back to the club.
He added: “The pleasure of seeing what has happened at this place in recent years has been an absolute joy.
“We had the initial target of £5,000, so to be nearly three times that now in six weeks speaks volumes for everyone involved.
“One donation has come in from an anonymous donor for £400 and we’ve also had current and ex-players putting in items for auction and the raffles.
“We’re aware players have offered to take no wages and pay cuts and have also been befriending vulnerable people during this period. That’s a great testament to this club.
“It has been hard not having football as part of your routine, the social aspect of meeting friends and fellow supporters.
“This fundraising effort has gone some way to help plug the gap left behind by having no football.
“Naming the campaign ‘Whatever it Takes!’ was simply a reflection of our determination to ensure that whenever football resumes, after this horrific global crisis is over, Montrose FC and its proud history will still be around, ready to continue our journey of adventure under manager Stewart Petrie.”
Club chairman John Crawford said the reaction from the fans had been extremely “humbling”.
He added: “At such an uncertain and anxious time, when people have so much going on in their personal lives, you would have expected, quite rightly, football to take a back seat.
“So for everyone to have rallied in the way they have is unbelievable, and on behalf of the rest of the board, I would like to extend a massive thank you to all those who have contributed to this fund.”