DANNY Graham says his donation to help troubled Hartlepool stave off the threat of administration was to help give something back to the game he loves.

Graham donated £2,500 to an online fundraising page, with the National League club needing to raise around £200,000 by January 25 to pay wages and bills

The club is for sale, with the owners seemingly unwilling to fund the club any further, and a fundraising page has topped £28,000 in donations.

Graham’s generosity has made the headlines, and while not doing it for the publicity, the Rovers striker hopes his donation will help promote the Pools’ plight.

He wrote online: “Good luck Hartlepool United hope you reach your target ... I’m sure you will hopefully the whole of the north east get behind u and all the football fans out there’’

And speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph this evening, Graham said: “I’m a Gateshead boy from the North East, I know what football is like up there and what it means to the people.

“Football is massive, even for the smaller clubs the fans live for the weekend and for game days so if they can all pull together then it would mean a lot to Hartlepool, the town, the fans, everyone involved.

“I live 15 minutes from Hartlepool and I just wanted to help get the message out there and get more people on board.

“Football has given a lot to me so it was just about giving something back.

“As a player from the North East who loves football, I felt it was the right thing to do.

“I didn’t do it for the publicity, it was more to get people involved and hopefully a lot more football fans will donate and help them reach the target.”

Graham, born in Gateshead, is a boyhood Newcastle United fan and has also represented both Sunderland and Middlesbrough during his playing career.

On becoming aware of Hartlepool’s situation, he added: “It was actually my brother who told me about it, he's on Twitter so he brought it to my attention.

“When I looked on the page there were Portsmouth fans, Southampton fans, and fans of clubs who have been in similar situations and been able to bounce back from it.

“A lot of work goes in to a football club behind the scenes and they will all be affected by what is going on.

“It's not just a football club, it affects people's lives and jobs are at stake. 

“I just want to help get the message out there and for everyone to pull together.”

To donate to Hartlepool's cause, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/savehartlepoolunitedfootballclub