The OTHER Green Army step in to help Albion
THE other Green Army is coming to the aid of cash-strapped Plymouth Albion.
Nottingham Rugby Club's official supporters' group, which shares its name with Plymouth Argyle's fans, has armed itself with collection buckets to back Albion's plight.
The city's rugby club launched a £250,000 fundraising appeal last month after a potentially catastrophic hole opened up in its finances.
Almost £185,000 has since been found – and now Albion's Championship rivals are pitching in to the survival fund.
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Nottingham fans were set to wield the buckets at their club's clash with Doncaster Knights at Meadow Lane last night. The cash they collect will be presented to Albion when the two sides meet at The Brickfields at 3pm on Saturday.
Green Army spokesman Mark Rowlson said Albion's plight "transcends any sporting rivalry", with the club's 137-year existence remaining in the balance until the £250,000 target it reached.
Nottingham Rugby Club – nicknamed the Green and White – faced their own cash crisis in 2008, and only stayed afloat after backing from local businesses and the rugby community.
Mr Rowlson said: "The financial problems at Plymouth mirror our own three years ago and, as supporters, we all know how this feels.
"The Green Army are currently looking at ways we can raise funds to help our friends at Plymouth Albion.
"To kick start our fundraising efforts, we will be having a bucket collection at the Doncaster game. Any donations will be gratefully received and we hope to present a cheque at our game at The Brickfields on Saturday."
The fans had planned the fundraising push earlier, but have endured a series of postponed matches as freezing weather swept across the East Midlands.
Nottingham Rugby chief executive Simon Beatham also backed the bucket collections.
"Nottingham Rugby got help from so many clubs when we were in trouble and it made a real difference," he said.
"What the Green Army is doing shows one of the greatest qualities in rugby: that sense of community we have as a sport."
Albion fans will be asked to bring a friend and 'donate on the gate' for Saturday's match, which kicks off at 3pm.
Everyone handing over £10 will be entered into a prize draw to win a signed shirt at the end of the game.
Albion spokeswoman Louise Uncles said yesterday: "I can confirm that we are approaching £185,000. The response has been phenomenal from shareholders, supporters, corporate and sponsors alike.
"It is particularly heart-warming to have the reaction that we have had from Nottingham supporters and illustrates the swell of feeling throughout the Championship League.
"This Saturday we are running a promotion called Donate on the Gate. Every spectator will be asked if they are happy to donate £10 to the club. Those who do will be entered into a draw to win a signed shirt at the end of the match."
HOW TO HELP: Make a donation. Send cheques payable to PARFC, to: Plymouth Albion RFC, Brickfields Recreation Ground, 25 Damerel Close, Plymouth, PL1 4NE, or by bank transfer to: Plymouth Albion Rugby Football Club Donations, account number 36379743, sort code 56-00-63 quoting the donor's name and the word 'donation'.
Become a member – complete the online membership form at www.plymouthalbion.com. Buy or renew your debenture at a cost of £1,000 for seven years. A debenture gives you a guaranteed grandstand seat and normal entrance fees apply. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.