By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Magpies boss Alan Pardew has given his backing to North-East neighbours Darlington, who came within seconds of extinction this week.
The Blue Square Bet Premier outfit - who won the FA Trophy at Wembley less than nine months ago - are currently in administration and were about to be liquidated when a group of fans dramatically came up with £50,000 on Wednesday to keep the club alive until the end of the month.
That means Saturday's home game against Fleetwood can go ahead, and the 129-year-old Quakers are hoping for a big crowd to raise much-needed funds.
The ravages of administration have taken their toll on Darlo, and they only have a handful of senior players remaining so Newcastle attempted to help them out this week with the loan of two of their Reserve players.
Football Conference chiefs blocked that move, but Pardew - who allowed Sweden under-21 international goalkeeper Ole Soderberg to join Darlington on loan earlier in the season - is hoping the Quakers can pull through.
"I think the club is big enough, the fans are passionate enough and strong enough to keep it alive," he said.
"As the manager of Newcastle, I have my fingers crossed Darlington can keep going."
Pardew, who played for several non-league sides before earning a move to Crystal Palace, brought his side down the A1 to play against the Quakers in the first pre-season friendly of the summer, with the Magpies winning 2-0.
Football supporters from all over the country are attending Saturday's game at the Northern Echo Arena in a show of solidarity, and Darlington hope Newcastle fans who aren't travelling to Craven Cottage to watch their side face Fulham this weekend will consider lending their support.
Kick-off is 3pm, and fans are advised that only cash turnstiles will be in operation on the day.