GALLERY: March was ‘perfect’, say Hitchin Town campaigners

The town of Hitchin joins the march. Picture: Peter Else

The town of Hitchin joins the march. Picture: Peter Else - Credit: Archant

A protest march on Saturday which attracted around 1,300 people has been described as ‘perfect’.

Hands off Top Field. Picture: Peter Else.

Hands off Top Field. Picture: Peter Else. - Credit: Archant

People came from near and far to support the campaign to keep Hitchin Town FC at Top Field and remove the potential threat of a supermarket being built on their historic home in Fishponds Road.

After the march, the Canaries played Poole Town and won the match with a 89th minute strike.

Manager Mark Burke said: “It was a perfect day.

“It was unbelievable, the amount of people who came. Hopefully following that performance and the result we’ll get the majority, or even a slight percentage of them, to come back and support the club again.

Help Save Hitchin Town! Picture Peter Else.

Help Save Hitchin Town! Picture Peter Else. - Credit: Archant

“It has been a great day. The march started off and we couldn’t believe the size of it. We were hoping for around 500 or so people, and with that we would have been really happy. But as time went by and the masses came on to Butts Close, I looked behind and people kept joining and they came to the game as well which was great. I can’t remember the last time we had 1,600 people here. It was a long time ago.”

Club secretary Roy Izzard said: “My first thought is pride. I’m proud of the way Hitchin Town Football Club came over. I’m proud of our fans and the way everyone was immaculately behaved. I’m proud of the town’s incredible response.

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“I also thought the speeches were fantastic. Councillor Judi Billing has always been a great supporter of the club.

“Guillem Balague’s speech was tremendous – it was great they could give up some of their valuable time to help support us. I thought the way the town of Hitchin got behind us was amazing.

Campaigners march through Brand Street in Hitchin. Picture: @sarahgraham_art via Twitter.

Campaigners march through Brand Street in Hitchin. Picture: @sarahgraham_art via Twitter. - Credit: Archant

“I’m proud to say I’m from Hitchin. It was such a feelgood day.

Eight-year-old Hitchin Town supporter Ethan Clarke, who took part in the march, added: “It was a brilliant – and I went to the game with my dad and my friends. I don’t want a supermarket. They should play football here.”

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