Updated: Monday, 20th November 2017 @ 5:34pm

Online petition set up to stop Bolton Wanderer's Macron Stadium from hosting UKIP conference

Online petition set up to stop Bolton Wanderer's Macron Stadium from hosting UKIP conference

| By Sophie Norris

A politically-active football fan has set up an online petition against Macron Stadium’s hosting of the UKIP Spring Conference.

Retail worker Ryan Quick, 26, from Bolton, set up the petition on Change.org on January 6 and it has already gathered over 700 signatures.

Mr Quick, who became involved in politics after joining a trade union, said that he does not feel far-right groups should be hosted by sports teams which attracts so many young fans.

He said: “I don’t believe that a political party should be getting involved in sport or vis-à-vis.

“It doesn’t look good from my opinion and I’ve got plenty of people who agree with me on that as well.”

A supporter of the petition, ex-academic Martin Thomasson, agreed that UKIP should not be hosting the event at the venue, claiming that Bolton is an inclusive and multi-cultural community.

However, Sean Hornby, a UKIP councillor for Little Lever, responded to concerns stating that UKIP has a strong support base in the town.

Cllr Hornby said: "[Ryan] has every right to petition but we should be welcoming the fact that a national political party wants to hold its national conference here in Bolton.

"I'm very proud that Paul Nuttall, our new leader, has decided to not just launch his campaign from Bolton, but to actually come to Bolton."

Paul Holliday, head of marketing and communications at Macron Stadium, said: “We do not endorse the events that a third party stages here.”

As the number of signatures rise, the conference is gaining more media attention ahead of next month.