Boro players back campaign to save Redcar's SSI steelworks

Carl Harris Image copyright Carl Harris
Image caption Boro Head Coach Aitor Karanka backs the Save Our Steel' campaign

Football fans staged a rally at Middlesbrough's Riverside stadium in support of steelworkers whose jobs are under threat.

Production at the SSI site in Redcar was halted more than a week ago, with the firm blaming falling steel prices.

Players wore "Save Our Steel" t-shirts to warm up in ahead of the match against Leeds United.

Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson said the fight to save the plant was a "battle we can't afford to lose".

The team went on to secure a fifth straight league win by beating Leeds 3-0.

Steelworker Carl Harris, 40, who helped to organise the rally, said: "We know we've got the backing, the reaction to the campaign has been out of this world.

"This is all a bit of a high for us going to the match, but then it's a bit like groundhog day, back to square one.

"We don't know whether we will get paid again. It's a really bad situation."

Image copyright BBC news grab
Image caption Supporters also took part in the rally

The club supported a similar campaign in 2009 when the plant was mothballed originally.

Mr Gibson said: "One thing is for certain, this is a battle. It is a battle for our core industries and it is a battle for our jobs and our communities - and one we can't afford to lose."

Boro head coach, Aitor Karanka, said: "We're in other work in football, but we can't forget how difficult it is sometimes in these moments for everybody."

More than 2,000 workers are still waiting to hear from parent company SSI Thailand whether the plant will reopen.

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