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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 April, 2003, 10:03 GMT 11:03 UK
Fans on fundraising bike ride
Tow Law Town FC
Tow Law Town FC are struggling to recruit new players
Die-hard football fans have got on their bikes in an effort to get their struggling club out of the doldrums.

Tow Law Town FC in County Durham is in the midst of a goal drought similar to relegated Premiership neighbours Sunderland AFC.

So stalwart supporters John Coates and Colin Forster have set off on a coast to coast cycle ride to raise funds to buy new players.

Tow Law, who play in the Albany Northern League, and who are known to their fans as The Lawyers, reached Wembley in the FA Vase final just five years ago.

But this year they have found the going tougher and are stuck in a mediocre mid-table spot.

Now the pair are doing the 140-mile cycle ride from Whitehaven in Cumbria to Seaburn, Sunderland, to raise funds to buy new players.

Tow Law play on the Ironworks Ground, hundreds of feet above sea level overlooking Weardale in County Durham.

The club's last signing cost about 400, but the intrepid pair hope to raise at least double that amount.

Mr Forster, 41, a construction worker from Framwellgate Moor, Durham, said: "We wanted to do something different to raise funds for the club. We hope our hard work will inspire the players.

"I'm a keen cyclist, I have just got back from cycling from the Cumbrian border to Durham to practice. I cycled the Leeds/Liverpool canal last year.

"I've been watching Tow Law for several years now, and John has been going since his father took him in the 1960s. We both originally come from Quebec, just down the road from Tow Law, and we just want to put the club back on the map."

Mr Coates, 54, who lives on Wearside, said: "This season has been disappointing, we hope the next one will be better."

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