Boro legend Jim Platt has backed Andy Preston’s independent campaign in the forthcoming local elections by throwing his gloves into the ring.
High-profile philanthropist Preston is leading an army of independent candidates during the Middlesbrough Council elections.
And ex-goalkeeper Platt – Boro’s fifth-highest appearance-maker of all-time – has decided to run as an independent candidate for the Kader ward in the elections being held on May 2.
Platt, who’s originally from Ballymoney in Northern Ireland, moved to Teesside when Stan Anderson signed him as a fresh-faced 19-year-old in 1971 and was part of Jack Charlton’s record-breaking Second Division champions of 1974.
He went on to play 481 games for Boro up until 1983 and was capped 23 times for Northern Ireland. He has continued to live on Teesside since hanging up his goalkeeping gloves.
“I’m not a politician so I’m a little bit apprehensive about what’s ahead of me but I’ve decided to stand as an independent councillor for Kader because I live in the ward and I’d like to help make it a safer, cleaner and hopefully an even nicer place to live,” said Platt.
“I’ve lived in Middlesbrough for nearly 50 years, I’m passionate about the town – not just the football club – and I love the people. This is my hometown.
“I honestly think Kader and Middlesbrough would be best looked after by people dedicated to the ward and the town, rather than any national political party.
“I want to make a difference and I’m excited by Andy Preston’s vision for the town. I hope together we can make a real difference.”
Boro fan Preston – who runs several local businesses as well as the Teesside Philanthropic Foundation, CEO Sleepout and Fork in the Road charities in Middlesbrough – said: “I’m delighted to be backing Jim as an independent candidate in the forthcoming local elections.
“He’s a man of great standing in the town, he also has fantastic leadership qualities and I think local people will listen and look up to him.
“I’m convinced he’d be a fantastic councillor, he’s passionate about his town but more important his local ward where he has lived for 48 years, and I know he’ll fight for his neighbours.
“It’s fantastic that we have an independent standing as councillor in nearly every ward so the people of Middlesbrough have a fantastic opportunity to kick national politics out of the town and vote in those who’ll focus only on what’s best for Middlesbrough.”