CHIPPENHAM Town chairman Neil Blackmore hopes the club’s friendly with Manchester United legends last Sunday will encourage more people to watch the Bluebirds’ first team on a regular basis.

A more experienced Chippenham line-up managed to secure a 2-1 victory over their United counterparts at the Thornbury Surfacing Stadium after goals from Steve Tweddle and Dave Gilroy cancelled out Danny Webber’s deflected free-kick.

Blackmore was delighted with both the result and the number of people who turned up, while also expressing his genuine gratitude to United after their players spent time after the game taking autographs and selfies while mingling with fans in the bar.

Reflecting on a superb afternoon for the club, Blackmore said: “It was absolutely superb; I could not have wished for more.

“The weather was fantastic, we had a great crowd of 1,760, the United players were fantastic, and the Chippenham old boys were great.

“Everything went well, I couldn’t have asked for more. The Saturday night Q&A session was good, as was the game on Sunday.”

While the game itself is thought to have raised in the tens of thousands for the Bluebirds’ coffers, Blackmore remains focused on growing the club long-term.

The Town chairman revealed free tickets were handed out to children leaving the ground last weekend so that a new generation of supporters can start their journey as a follower of Chippenham.

Blackmore said: “More than anything, what was so great for me was that we had so many people in the ground at a game.

“We’re trying to increase our gate numbers all the time, and that’s so, so important to the club. I just hope that some of those people who came on Sunday liked what they saw and will want to come back again.

“We had lots of children there, which was great, and after the game we let them come on the pitch. They were kicking balls around and getting their photos taken with players.

“I’m hoping the children really enjoyed it, and they’ll be saying to mum and dad: “Can we go again?” Hopefully, they’ll come again with mum and dad, and they’ll bring nan and grandad too.

“That’s what we want – we want more people to come into the ground because it’s a great family day out, and that’s what I’m trying to promote.”