In February 2017 a new initiative was launched to bring together Middlesbrough Football Club supporters groups with the aim of ‘strengthening fans’ links with the club and ensuring that we can properly debate the issues which affect us all.’

That is how lifetime Boro fan and founder, Chris Joseph, explains the objective of the independent Middlesbrough Supporters Forum which brings together groups including, Middlesbrough Disabled Supporters Association, Middlesbrough Supporters South, Red Faction, Twelfth Man, Middlesbrough Official Supporters Club, and media platforms, Fly Me to the Moon and RED ARMY.TV.

Explains Chris, who is a former chair of the Forum “When I chaired the Middlesbrough Official Supporters Club a couple of years again I often used to think of the potential value to both the club and supporters of bringing together a unified group of the varied fans’ bodies and media voices”.

“Whilst all the different groups have evolved organically and must retain their own identities and indeed bring their own specific issues to MFC via the proper channels set up by the Club, there are many issues which affect us all. There has never been a time when it is more vital that fans have an input into the future of the game…already this has been recognised by the Premier League through its fans’ panel, and Sky, and of course, there is increasing pressure for reform in the way the game is run”.

Mark Ellis said: "As a club we are always striving to engage with our fans across all spectrums. We recognise that different fan groups have different needs and opinions. The first Forum brought together a wide range of supporter groups and we were able to have constructive conversations regarding a number of different topics."

Chris Joseph said: “We were very encouraged at the first meeting of the Forum at the Riverside that all the bodies attending - including MFC - recognised the potential of working in unity for the benefit of all…fans, club and football as a whole.”