That was the Weekend that was: Stoke fans search for a sugar daddy

WINNING AT Chesterfield hardly ranks among the most memorable moments in Stoke City's proud history but so frustrated are their fans at the ailing club's plight that even the small publicity generated by Saturday's 2-0 victory is welcome.

Debt-ridden Stoke are up for sale but the lack of interest from prospective buyers has led supporters to launch what is possibly a unique campaign to generate investment.

The fans - members of the SOS (Save Our Stoke) group - have identified 300 targets among the wealthiest people in the country in the hope of unearthing a Stoke City supporter with money to spend. The spokesman Tim Gallimore said: "We've taken the names from the Sunday Times' Rich List, though we will also be contacting others we think may be interested."

The Virgin entrepreneur Richard Branson and the television celebrity Chris Evans are among those earmarked for the mailshot.

Anyone interested will need deep pockets, however. The former vice-chairman, Ed Weetman, who has turned down the chance to join a takeover consortium, said: "It will take someone with mega-money to turn the club around."

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