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Lifeline history

Monday 15 September 1986 was one of the most significant occasions in the long history of Notts County Football Club.

This was the night that 1500 supporters packed into the Astoria Ballroom with hundreds locked outside as they gathered to hear of the financial crisis that threatened the future of the club.

Notts had been struggling financially for a long time and it was only the financial support of then chairman Jack Dunnett that enabled the club to continue.

At the time of the meeting the club's debt had reached £1.8million, which would not have been dissimilar to the figure involved when the club went into administration in 2003.

Just as there was tremendous enthusiasm shown by Notts fans during the 2003 crisis, so it was then.

The players were all on the platform, led by captain Steve Sims, pledging their support and listened to the speeches from amongst others Tommy Lawton, Don Masson and Jimmy Sirrel.

To rousing cheers, Sirrel said: "With the passion you are showing tonight there is no chance the club will die."

John Mounteney, Notts' former vice-chairman said on the night: "We are staggered to find so many people turning out for Notts County. The club belongs to you.

"We as directors are just stewards of an institution that has been running 120 years and it is our duty to preserve it for the generations of supporters to come."

And so Lifeline was launched with John Mounteney as chairman, backed by the tremendous enthusiasm from Neil Hook and Les Bradd, and membership numbers were soon approaching the maximum 2,500.

33 years later, following a surge in support amid the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, Lifeline membership hit full capacity for the very first time, leading to the introduction of a waiting list for new members - which soon filled up!

The wave of new joiners means the scheme, which has contributed over £3million to the club since its formation, is thriving more than ever.

Click here to join the waiting list.

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