Generous Brighton and Hove Albion fans have raised almost £250,000 for the cash-strapped club's fighting fund.

Albion launched the Alive and Kicking Appeal less than three months ago.

Chairman Dick Knight had to go to fans with a begging bowl to keep the club afloat while the city awaits John Prescott's make-or-break decision on the Falmer stadium proposals.

The club's target is to raise £2 million by the end of the season and chief executive Martin Perry said he was delighted with the £238,000 running total.

He added: "We are extremely grateful to those fans who have responded to the Alive and Kicking Appeal. More than 1,500 supporters have sent contributions and on behalf of all at the club I would like to thank them.

"I would also like to thank those fans such as Attila the Stockbroker and Stephen Grant, of the Komedia club, who have used their own unique talents and come up with fund-raising ideas."

Fans have either sent money to the club or raised funds through events such as sponsored pub crawls, quiz and comedy nights and auctions.

Albion's poet in residence John Baine - Attila the Stockbroker - has been particularly busy. As well as a ten-and-a-half hour gig at the Evening Star pub last week, which raised £2,000, he plans to release a CD in January with a ska version of Seagulls anthem Sussex By The Sea.

Albion players have also been involved. Christmas cards featuring the team steadily losing items of clothing in wintry settings are proving a big hit with fans.

A team at Brighton Marina created the cards, which have already made more than £10,000 for the fund.

The cards cost £5 for a pack of five, selected from 12 shots taken by Albion photographer Bennett Dean during a two-day session.

Defender Kerry Mayo said: "None of us has done anything like this before but we are all poseurs really. Any player who says they didn't enjoy themselves would be telling a white lie."

A marina spokesman said: "They are on sale at all the stores at Brighton Marina and are selling like hot cakes."

Midfielder Charlie Oatway is also helping out by donating half the proceeds from his new DVD, Charlie's Millennium Diary.

The club still needs as much help as it can get if it is to reach the Alive and Kicking target.

A club spokesman said if all the 30,000 fans who travelled to the Millennium Stadium for last year's triumphant play-off final victory donated £50, it would raise £1.5 million.

Information on how to donate can be found on the club's web site,