The Middlesbrough FC flag is flying proudly above the Town Hall as fans from around the globe prepare to converge on the home of football for Monday’s crunch match.
A thrilling semi-final saw Boro secure an emphatic 5-1 aggregate win over fellow promotion hopefuls Brentford to set up a mouth-watering final fixture with Norwich.
If Boro are victorious against Norwich in what is often said to be the most valuable game in world football, they will secure promotion to the Barclays Premier League.
Middlesbrough Council has adopted the club’s #BELIEVE promotion slogan, incorporating it into the popular lovemiddlesbrough social media accounts and messages of support on the Council’s homepage.
On a larger scale, displays are planned for the Centre Square Big Screen and on main Council buildings as well as on mima, with the cooperation of Teesside University.
Other proposals to reflect local pride and passion in the Boro cause include using the bus station and town centre loudspeaker system to play Boro tunes.
Town centre businesses are being encouraged to get involved too, earlier in the week saw Lots of Loveliness on Linthorpe Road winning the first stage of a competition, judged by former Boro commentator Dave Roberts and Craig Hignett, to find the best-dressed Boro window.
Dave said: “The ‘first leg’ of our competition gave us some great entries, and I’m thrilled to be working with the Council to encourage more businesses to get involved ahead of the play-off final.
“We’re hoping to paint the town red with this ‘second leg’ and really show the team that we’re behind them.”
Middlesbrough – along with the rest of Teesside – is being urged to paint the town red, with people encouraged to decorate themselves, their homes, businesses and cars in red and white.
The entry judged the overall winner will receive a signed football from MFC, while there will be awards and goody bags for runners-up.
The 38,000 fans making the pilgrimage to the hallowed ground of Wembley will also hope to draw good luck from the Boro shirts which, legend has it, were stuffed into the stadium’s arch by steel erectors working on its construction.
Middlesbrough Mayor and Boro season ticket holder Dave Budd said: “The whole town has been on a high since Friday’s thumping victory over Brentford, and the scenes at the end of the game showed just how much promotion to the Premier League means to fans.
“We hope there will be banners and signs of support everywhere you turn around the town as we have a real sense that we’re on the verge of something very special.
“But we haven’t got there yet – fans need to get everything behind the team at Wembley and cheer them on to what we all hope will be a famous victory.”
Middlesbrough FC’s play off final game against Norwich will take place at Wembley Stadium on Monday, May 25, with the match kicking off at 3pm. Coverage will be shown live on Sky Sports 1, and in venues across the town.
- Paint the Town Red competition entries can be uploaded to the campaign Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/boroshopfronts or posted on the lovemiddlesbrough Facebook page or copy in @lovembro on Twitter
Winners will also feature on the lovemiddlesbrough website and social media sites.