Supporters of Hinckley AFC are holding a ‘sleep-out’ to protest against the auction of the former Greene King Stadium site’s all-weather pitches and raise funds for Hinckley’s homeless at the same time.
Fans and supporters have called the protest after liquidators have put 3G pitches and land at the contested site up for sale at auction on January 29. They have already launched a petition to stop the sale, and say the sleep-out is an additional step.
Dozens plan to sleep out on Friday, January 23 to raise the profile of the issue and will fundraise for Hinckley Homeless at Lawrence House in Hinckley, a hostel for homeless people between the ages of 16 to 25, in the process.
Gary Hancox, chairman of the supporter-led club, which is having to play its home games 12 miles away at the moment, said: “It’s part of who we are: One Community, One Voice, One Passion. We’re fighting to stop the 3G pitches being lost to our community as well as raising money for Lawrence House’s important work in Hinckley.
“We want to bring Hinckley AFC home – and return to the stadium without key parts of it being sold off first. We want the pitches to be withdrawn from the auction. The pitches are an asset for the whole town – local taxpayers’ money is invested in them – and they are an important part of the future running of the stadium. Breaking them off to be sold in a fire sale is wrong and short-sighted. It could be disastrous for the future development of football in the borough.”
Sue Clarke, project manager for Hinckley Homeless said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to Hinckley AFC for thinking of us and raising funds for our service. We are looking at difficult times ahead, and these funds will be used to help keep Lawrence House running. We really appreciate that Hinckley AFC thought of Hinckley Homeless Group and incorporated fundraising for Lawrence House into their sleep-out. Good luck to all who are sleeping out on the night.”
Steve Jelfs, secretary at Hinckley AFC said: “Everybody is welcome to get involved. We’re a community club. There will be food, warm drinks and a great atmosphere as we raise funds for Hinckley Homeless alongside our protest to save this site from being broken up at auction. We will also hold a collection for Hinckley Foodbank on the night. If you would like to help and show support, please join us.”
Members of the club will be able to receive full details at the Members’ Evening on Friday, and more details will be posted on the club’s website, www.hinckleyafc.org.uk, in the lead up to the event.