FEARS Harwich could lose its historic football club after 140 years have been branded as a "blow to the town".

Community leaders have spoken out in support of the struggling Harwich and Parkeston Football Club with hopes for an 11th hour reprieve.

It has been revealed that a number of players have left, adding to the financial plight and plunging the club into uncertainty.

Harwich Mayor Alan Todd said: "It's sad to see their demise and it will be really sad if it has to close.

"I used to go to matches when I was a boy, I used to go with my brothers.

"The club has a lot of history.

"The dream at school when you played football was to play for your local team.

"Hopefully people will hear about its situation and come forward - it needs support."

Former Harwich and Parkeston FC president Terry Rowland said the club folding would be a major loss for the town.