Campaign for Blackpool fan sued by club owners reaches £20,000 target

An online campaign set up to raise money for a Blackpool pensioner who is being sued by the club's owners has reached its £20,000 target.

Frank Knight, 67, posted an apology on his Facebook account last week to Blackpool and the Oyston family, who run the Fylde coast club, over allegations he made on his social network account last year.

In that statement, addressed to the 34 Facebook friends he had at that time, Knight said he had agreed to pay damages of £20,000 to the Championship club, which prompted fellow Seasiders supporter Joe Atherton to set up an account on the website gofundme.com where fans could pledge donations.

Over 1,000 supporters did just that, ensuring the target was met in only three days. The account will now be kept open to provide more financial aid to fellow supporters such as Steven Sharpe, who Blackpool announced they had taken legal action against in January following posts he made on a forum regarding Oyston and the club.

An update on Knight's campaign page read: "WE'VE DONE IT! £20,000 reached in 3 days. Phenomenal stuff. Thank you to all Blackpool fans for digging deep, and football fans of other clubs throughout the land (and world!).

"I've been in contact with the Knight family and they want me to express their gratitude to every single one of you that's donated and promoted this campaign. Frank's total may've been reached but the fight continues."

Blackpool became the first Football League side to be relegated when their demotion into the third tier was confirmed on Easter Monday, and they still need one point to equal the lowest ever points total in the second tier when there have been 24 teams.

The day after that relegation was confirmed, disgruntled supporters threw eggs at the back of directors' boxes before their game with Reading and hurled a firework, flare and smoke cannister into the cordoned-off area in front of the main reception area in angry protests against chairman Karl Oyston.

Over the weekend, actor-turned-activist and West Ham fan Russell Brand even asked what he could to do "help" the situation on his official Twitter account.