BACKING from the highest level could help Workington Town in the fight to appoint Ged Stokes as head coach.

Rugby Football League chief executive Richard Lewis is supporting the club’s bid to name Kiwi Stokes as its new boss.

The application for a work permit for Stokes was turned down by the Home Office because he does not meet the criteria - aimed at encouraging home-grown talent - for overseas coaches.

Chairman Dave Bowden has discussed the National League Two club’s ‘special’ situation with Lewis and RFL head of coaching Ray Unsworth.

Now letters of support from the leading officials will accompany a three-page document being sent to the Home Office putting forward the club’s case.

Officials have promised to push the appeal through as a matter of urgency and an answer is expected next week.

Town’s chairman is quietly confident that the club will get the green light.

“I think we’re in with a good chance,” said Bowden.

He revealed that Workington MP Tony Cunningham has also been working hard behind the scenes to help the club win its appeal.

“Tony has been speaking to a lot people. In fact, everyone involved with the club has been pulling out all the stops,” Bowden said.

Town have offered Stokes the job, which he has accepted, and he is keen to return to the club where he played during the 1982-83 season.

His wife Deborah and son Ben are in New Zealand waiting for word to move to Workington.

Ex-forward Stokes, 44, has been assistant coach to the senior New Zealand team for two years.

And he was in charge of the junior Kiwis on their first overseas tour, which began with a 24-24 drawn game with Cumbria at Whitehaven’s Recreation Ground.

The Derwent Park club has had a big turnover of coaches over the last few years with 14 in just 11 seasons.

Mainly due to its geographical position, the club has had trouble attracting people and coaches who have worked there have, on the whole, travelled from the heartlands of Lancashire and Yorkshire.

l Howard Mothersill is the latest £500 winner of Town’s Blue Draw, which is limited to 200 members.

His ticket, number 85, was drawn on Wednesday by yours truly at the Times & Star office on Oxford Street.

A small number of tickets are available for the monthly draw, which costs £5.

For more details, contact Keith Ray on 01900 603609.