Soccer fans and former players have rallied round to help a struggling Huddersfield club.

They have stumped up more than £5,000 after fears Marsden FC could fold under crippling debts.

But the cash boost has been accompanied by a double blow on and off the field.

Several players left the club amid fears it could fold, leaving them struggling to field teams each week.

And a mean thief stole hundreds of pounds on a charity night set up to help the club.

Chairman Brian Irving paid tribute to all those who have helped the club following an appeal made in January.

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The club, which has been around since at least 1900 and at Fall Lane since the 1920s, suffered a number of critical blows in recent months. Officials were left reeling after an £800 raid on its clubhouse last September and since November prolonged bad weather has meant most of its matches have been called off, meaning no income.

Mr Irving and others launched fundraising appeals and they were backed by more than 30 people. Many of them were former players who had turned out for Marsden and their plight was also highlighted by former Town player Keith Hanvey.

Mr Irving said: “The combined total so far is £5,874.63 with further promised donations still in the pipeline.

“This will certainly help secure the immediate future of the club and our thanks go out to all those who kindly contributed.

Brian Irving Chairman of Marsden Football Club appeals for funds to secure the future of the club.

“Unfortunately things have been marred by an incident on the Race Night held at the club attended by 50/60 people, when later in the evening an estimated £620 of cash was found to have been stolen from the bar till. Although reported to the police, nothing has since come to light.

“Another concerning matter is that six 1st team players left the club prior to the February transfer deadline, now possibly leaving us struggling to turn out two full teams.

“The club is desperately short of manpower in most areas of its operation with seven teams and approximately 90 registered players to manage.

“The committee, presently nine people, has six vacancies and we would welcome anyone who may be interested in taking up a position to contact us. Similarly anyone who feels they may be able to help in any way.”

Anyone who can help can contact the club via marsdenfc@gmail.com