A NON-LEAGUE football club without a permanent home in almost 40 years has won the support of Parliament amid a campaign to bring them back to their borough.

Dudley Town have just won promotion to the Midland Premier League but, since the 2018/19 season, have played their home matches seven miles out of Dudley at Sporting Khalsa in Willenhall near Wolverhampton.

Prior to that, the Robins had to play their home games in Brierley Hill, Tividale and Stourbridge following the closure of the Dudley Sports Centre in the mid-80s.

Now, a campaign has been launched to bring Dudley home.

Last week, MP Marco Longhi raised the issue in the House of Commons which received the backing of culture secretary Lucy Frazer.

She said: “I understand the importance to fans of where football is played, and fans want to watch their teams play in Dudley town. I wish the club well in its aspirations to return there.”

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Longhi, said: “When you’re fortunate enough to be elected as a member of Parliament you are privileged to be able to access so many different platforms to raise awareness. I applied for a question, it’s a lottery whether you get called to ask a question, and I did, and I focused on Dudley Town because it’s only right that we give it as much air as possible. Now ministers are aware of this and, who knows, in the future we might need to seek their help as well. All they can do is clearly support. The specifics are down to the club and the stakeholders and I will help oil the wheels, as it were.

“But it’s only right that we’re doing something like this now because it’s a town of some 300,000 people and it must be one of the few towns that doesn’t have its own football club within the borough itself. It doesn’t seem right at all for fans to travel outside of the borough to watch their bit of a team play.

“So Stephen Austin and the management team approached me and they said, ‘Marco, will you help us spearhead a campaign’ and that is exactly what I am doing. Andy Street, I have approached him and he’s a man that can make things happen as well – and he’s very supportive of this so it’s a case now of bringing heads together, moving forward, I’ve created this campaign and I’d like as many people as possible to join in and show the momentum behind it.”

Mr Longhi added: “It is a realistic plan and it’s something I wouldn’t be entertaining if I didn’t think there was a possibility of making this happen. Football has a very special place in people’s hearts; a borough the size of Dudley is made up of so many different backgrounds and identities but football is the one thing that brings everybody under that one roof.

"It’s something close to my heart and I really want to make it happen for them. We’re on a journey, it’s not something that will happen tomorrow but we’ve made a good start where the club have shown that they’re definitely up for it given their promotion. I want to show I’m behind them and to be the standard bearer for them in places where maybe they can’t reach, so it’s right for me to do this.”