Barcelona star, Spurs legend and Sky Sports broadcaster all back Hitchin Town march

Guillem Balalgue will be speaking at tomorrow's march.

Guillem Balalgue will be speaking at tomorrow's march. - Credit: Archant

A footballer who has graced the World Cup stage and the Champions League Final has joined the team backing Hitchin Town’s battle to protect their Top Field home.

A footballer who has graced the World Cup stage and the Champions League Final has joined the team backing Hitchin Town’s battle to protect their Top Field home.

Supporters will assemble on Butts Close, opposite the Fishponds Road ground, at 12.30pm for a 1pm start before walking to Brand Street, Bancroft, Fishponds Road, and back to Butts Close.

Double Champions League runner-up and former Barcelona and Valencia star Gaizka Mendieta, who played for Spain in the 2002 World Cup, said: “I am happy to support Hitchin Town FC in their campaign to retain their historic ground.”

Hitchin-based Sky Sports broadcaster Guillem Balague, who plays football every Friday night at The Arena in Baldock and will be speaking at tomorrow’s march, added: “As a relative newcomer to Hitchin I am keen to support local causes, particularly those which preserve the unique character of the town.

“I am happy to add my voice to the many others who wish to see Hitchin Town remain there.

“I shall be taking part in the march in support of the Top Field campaign and would urge others to join us.”

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Another new recruit to the cause this week is former Spurs and Ireland star Tony Galvin.

He told the Comet: “My son played for Hitchin so I’ve always had an interest in the club. I live locally so when I found out what was going on I was very happy to help.

“I think it’s important for people to have a club in the centre of a town, in the centre of a community. A football club should be as close to the community as possible.

“I would say to people: ‘Come and get behind the march’ – if you don’t march on Saturday you may lose the club.

“Even if you’re not a fan of football it’s important to get behind it because it’s about the future of the town as well.

“When clubs move away from the community the interest falls off and it starts to have an effect on crowds and interest. Everyone I speak to wants them to stay at Top Field.

“My grandson Niall is a big fan and he wants them to stay – he would be very sad if they were forced to move.”

Musician Alex Bay, from Hitchin, who has played in front of 20,000 people at Wembley Stadium, and who will be playing The George pub in Bucklersbury on Christmas Eve, has agreed to perform a set at the end of the march.

Alex, 25, said: “This is a cause worth supporting for lots of reasons, not least because the club is a community club in the heart of the town. I am looking forward to playing on Saturday in support of the club. I’m thinking about playing a protest song by Bob Dylan!”

Car parking at Top Field will be restricted to club officials, players and match day helpers on Saturday, and after the game no vehicles will be permitted to leave the car park until 20 minutes after the end of the game in the interests of safety.

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