Middlesbrough footballers show steel … on their t-shirts

Middlesbrough FC’s millionaire football stars showed off their kind-hearted sides over the weekend by generously donning “Save Our Steel” t-shirts during their match preparations in support of workers at the local Corus factory.

The factory’s workers are facing a difficult Christmas this year due to plans announced recently to “mothball” part of the plant, resulting in the loss of up to 1700 jobs in the region. Many in the area feel that the government should intervene to stop the decline of the steel industry in the northeast by saving jobs as opposed to solely funding training.

Chairman of Middlesbrough FC Steve Gibson said yesterday: “We thought a lot about what sort of ‘gesture’ the club could make which would be appropriate in these circumstances and show the steelworkers we pretend to care. You know, how could we, as a football club which generates millions of pounds worth of revenue every season, go about alleviating the difficulties faced by these workers under threat of redundancy? After a few hours of talks we realised that the best way to help the situation would be by getting the squad to wear specially-made t-shirts before a match. We agreed that this would show a strong public support for these workers and display to everyone just how highly Middlesbrough Football Club values its fanbase.

“The other thing we’ve been doing recently to help the situation is allow a group of factory workers on to the pitch just before a game. This plays on the working class sensibilities of the crowd and the applause the workers receive during their parade may not save any jobs, but it can be extremely therapeutic nonetheless. I mean, what more could someone possibly wish for than to step out on to the hallowed turf of their beloved local football ground and soak up the cheers of thousands of supporters? It’s every youngsters dream. Plus it’s a fantastic means of raising awareness across the wider world. With any sort of cause, raising awareness is 90% of the battle – once that’s done, someone else can do the other 10% of actually solving the problem, leaving the person or organisation who brought attention to the original issue to claim the credit afterwards.”

Middlesbrough FC are currently discussing further plans to aid the stricken Corus workers over the next few weeks, including a half-time penalty shootout between factory staff for the prize of a £10 gift voucher to spend in the club shop, and the release of a giant balloon to mark every goal scored by the home team.

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