Milton Keynes basketball fans plan to keep following the Lions

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A GROUP of MK Lions supporters are hoping to keep following the British Basketball League club in the future – even though they will be known as the London Lions from the start of the new season.

Loyal fan Mark Passarelli, who has followed the Lions as far as Glasgow and Plymouth over the years, is trying to gather enough support to organise coach travel to home and away games in a bid to continue supporting the team.

After being unable to secure a home venue in Milton Keynes, Lions will play their games at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in south London for the next year before switching to the Copper Box in the Olympic Park for the 2013/14 season.

Chief executive Vince Macaulay will join Passarelli and other fans to discuss their ideas in a meeting at the Kiln Farm club this Friday evening, and anyone interested in getting involved is invited to attend.

“Getting to the Copper Box will be fairly easy from next season, but for now we want to work out a way of getting fans to Crystal Palace,” said Passarelli.

“We don’t just want to go to home games though, there will be plenty of opportunities to travel to away games with the likes of Leicester and Guildford not that far away.

“The team coach will drive past Milton Keynes on the M1 to get to most games up north, so we could even jump on that!

“It’s such a shame what has happened to the club, but we as fans don’t want to give up supporting them. Going to games, especially against our big rivals Leicester, was so much fun and we don’t want to lose that.”

Macaulay added: “We are very grateful to our fans in MK for their support over the last 14 years, and anything we can do to help them get to games in London, we will.

“We have been trying to build new support in London but we’re also keen not to lose the backing we have in MK.”

Meanwhile the Milton Keynes Citizen has teamed up with Lions to offer city-based fans the chance to watch their friendly game against Team USA at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre next Saturday absolutely free.

To do so, simply cut out the coupon in tomorrow’s Citizen and take it with you. More details in paper.