Middlesbrough FC and thousands of its loyal fans are set to fly the flag for the town’s city status bid.
The club are getting behind Middlesbrough’s bid for city status at this Saturday’s npower Championship clash with Watford at the Riverside Stadium.
The town is one of a number bidding for sought-after city status as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations next year.
City status has the potential to raise the profile of an area and attract both investment and tourism and work is well under way to make as strong a case as possible for Middlesbrough.
Now Boro fans and the football club are set to show their support for the bid with thousands of city status flags being distributed free to fans on Saturday.
With match tickets being free to under-18s it is hoped there will be a bumper crowd of young fans who will fly the flag for the bid.
A large city status flag will be hoisted from a flagpole overlooking the famous Riverside pitch.
And city status flags will also be used in the flag parade and the guard of honour.
City status stickers and badges will be distributed free to children attending the game and city status face painters will be emblazoning the logo on children’s faces.
Lovemiddlesbrough ambassadors will distribute the merchandise before the 3pm kick-off and the volunteers will also be on hand to discuss the bid with football fans and handout leaflets giving further information.
Claire Wordsworth, Love Middlesbrough manager, said: “We are delighted to have the support of the football club behind the city status bid for Middlesbrough.
“The game against Watford was chosen because of the number of children expected to attend.
“Young people are very much the future for Middlesbrough and the Teesside area and will be our ambassadors of the future.”
Middlesbrough FC Chief Executive Keith Lamb said: “Middlesbrough FC is totally supportive of the City Status Bid. To achieve city status would provide a massive economic boost to Middlesbrough, Stockton, Redcar and the entire region around us.
“We would ask all Boro supporters to get behind the bid because they could make a huge difference to its success.”
Free tickets for the match are available to all supporters aged under-18 to promote Boro’s junior membership initiative, Generation RED.
To qualify for free tickets youngsters simply need to sign up to the free club through the designated website www.generationred.co.uk.
A maximum of two free ticket vouchers can be produced for every adult Season Card holder or full-paying adult.
For further information or to leave a message of support for city status click here.
A range of partners including the Council, local businesses, and Middlesbrough Partnership, are involved in the formal bid and campaign.
The bid is also being supported by partners from across Teesside and the wider Tees Valley because of the boost Middlesbrough being a city would give the whole area.
A formal bid, to be delivered by the end of May, will feature a detailed profile of the town, photographs of the town’s key sites and landmarks and a summary of why Middlesbrough deserves to be a city.
Mayor Ray Mallon launched the campaign earlier this month and has invited primary school pupils from across the town to write to the Queen urging her to pick their hometown to become the UK’s newest city.