Hornchurch boss praises fans who are continuing cup run fundraiser

Hornchurch manager Mark Stimson.

Hornchurch manager Mark Stimson. - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Hornchurch FC's manager has thanked fans who are continuing a fundraiser to support the club's fairytale FA Trophy run.

Mark Stimson led the Urchins to a remarkable fifth win over higher-ranked sides in the competition when they defeated Darlington 2-1 last week.

The Recorder reported that a group of fans decided to do their bit to help the club's bid for cup glory and raised more than £3,000 to enable the club to travel and stay in Darlington the night before the tie.

Hornchurch celebrate sealing victory away to Darlington in the FA Trophy

Hornchurch celebrate sealing victory away to Darlington in the FA Trophy - Credit: Andy Futers

The club are now facing another long trip to non-league giants Notts County in the semi-final and Neil Duncanson, who set up the fundraising page, said they are keeping it going to provide similar support this time.

Neil, who started watching Hornchurch in the 1960s as a child, said the target was extended to £6,000 so the team can once again stay overnight in Nottingham before the game on March 27.

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Hornchurch boss Stimson said the fans' efforts had been amazing.

"When it first started out, we couldn't believe they were doing it," he added.

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"It's really appreciated by myself and the players and you can see on Saturday, it did give us a chance because we've come away with a result.

"When you travel more than three hours on a bus going up to a game, it can be difficult. It will give us the best chance possible to go to the dream land. We want to thank them as much as we can."

Neil Duncanson (left) with his wife Julie and fellow Hornchurch fans Arlette and Trevor Wiggins

Neil Duncanson (left) with his wife Julie and fellow Hornchurch fans Arlette and Trevor Wiggins. - Credit: Neil Duncanson

Upminster resident Neil said the club's achievements are testament to the management, as well as the ability and spirit of the players.

He added: "All the fans believe and if we can combine the enthusiasm and commitment of everyone involved in the fund alongside the formidable spirit of the team, then we'll give Notts County a game they won't forget in a hurry."

The fundraiser has also been backed by West Ham United's joint-chairman David Sullivan and the Irons said he has made a further contribution after a £500 donation in his name was made to the fundraiser before the Darlington match.

The £6,000 target has now been reached, with any surplus money going towards building a roof over a decked area next to the club's bar.

To donate, go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/lets-get-hornchurch-to-wembley#.

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