Leyton Orient Football Club have today (April 18) announced they have committed their future to Waltham Forest should they be unsuccessful in their bid to ground-share the Olympic Stadium. The club will also be further strengthening their ties to the local community by giving away 1,500 season tickets completely free to young people aged between 14 and 18 and full-time students aged between 18 and 21.
The landmark initiative is being sponsored by Matchroom Sport, the company owned by O’s Chairman Barry Hearn, with the intention of creating a new generation of Orient supporters and encouraging young people in the area to stand up for their local club by coming to enjoy the experience of live football with their friends and family.
The club have been linked with a move away from the area in light of West Ham’s move to the Olympic Stadium, however despite a continuing legal battle in pursuit of a ground-share with the Hammers, Hearn has revealed that whilst that remains the club’s preferred choice, should that fail, the O’s will remain in Leyton.
The O’s are London’s second oldest club and are renowned for their work in the local community and look on course for a top ten finish in League One this season whilst they can boast one of the strongest home records in the country with only one League 1 side having won more games than Russell Slade’s side at home.
Orient Chairman Barry Hearn said: “I’m proud to announce this initiative that I hope will be the dawning of a new era for this football club. Leyton Orient has been and always will be a real community club that continues to fight our corner despite being the underdog when you look at our neighbours and the threats we face.
“We will continue to fight the decision to deny us the opportunity to move to the Olympic Stadium but we will fight it in our own backyard and will not be squeezed out.
“A free season ticket provides someone the chance to not only come down and stand up for their local club but also to most importantly watch some exciting football and develop a lifelong affiliation with the club. We have had a good season this year and the foundations are in place to build on that for next season and really give it a good go.
“Nothing beats the magic of live football with your mates when you are a teenager and I want as many people as possible to have that opportunity.”
From tomorrow (April 19), applicants need only to head to www.standupfortheorient.com to register their interest for one of the season tickets that will be situated in the East Stand at Brisbane Road. The tickets are open to all young people that will be aged between 14 and 18 or a full-time student between 18 and 21 with a valid NUS card on August 3, 2013.
To see the video announcement from Barry Hearn on Orient Player click here