Sports Letter: Shameful

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The Independent Online
Sir: I am writing to express my family's disgust at the recent demise of the Gateshead Thunder Rugby League team and the way in which the loyal and growing fan base in the North East has been treated.

My family and I had no previous experience of rugby league. After attending only one match we were bitten by the bug and found it an excellent family- orientated spectator sport. We instantly became ardent fans, attending many matches from our home in Berwick upon Tweed, a round trip of 130 miles.

I find the instant removal of a successful team and ever-growing army of fans so difficult to accept. If the team had followed on with another productive season, the number of people supporting this new venture would have continued to grow. Season ticket sales were increasing and this with the minimum of external advertising or push.

The way in which the decision was made was a disgrace. Our family was offered a discounted season ticket on the Friday when the club folded on the Monday.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the players and all the support staff involved at Gateshead for giving us a glimpse of the way sport should be conducted in this "professional" world. It is a shame the administrators of the game could not live up to equally high standards.

PHIL LLOYD

Berwick upon Tweed

Northumberland

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