Crowdfunding comes to Kettering's rescue

Kettering town fcBy David Owen
October 16 – A 141-year-old English football club may have been saved from closure thanks in part to the generosity of fans from as far afield as Iceland and Vietnam.

A winding-up order facing Kettering Town, an eighth-tier club with a long and eventful history, has been rescinded after it agreed to pay debts thought to total close to £70,000.

The petition is to be heard again on November 4, but the club says that by this time the agreed debt will have been cleared.

More than £20,000 of the funds needed to keep Kettering going has been pledged by users of the JustGiving online fundraising platform.

Details released by JustGiving show that more than 1,000 pledges of support were made, and while the vast majority came from the UK, as one would expect, contributions were also sourced from more exotic destinations, including Iceland, Vietnam, Greece, South Africa and Thailand.

The Northamptonshire outfit is credited, in 1976, with becoming the first British club to play with a sponsor's name printed on their shirts – a practice that is now, of course, ubiquitous.

Kettering's nickname – the Poppies – is, appropriately, reminiscent of another more traditional annual crowdfunding exercise: the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal.