Hanwell Town: Why the NUFC-inspired non-league outfit have gone viral

Hanwell Town has been running for over 100 years but has hit new levels of fame

Once upon a time, 284 miles away from St. James' Park, a group of hardworking Geordies set up a home away from home.

The railway and waterway workers from the North East were posted in the South and decided to set up a small football club thanks to their joint love for Newcastle United.

Hanwell Town has now been going strong for 102 years, cultivating its club culture and following.

Then, all of a sudden, this week the club was rocketed to social media stardom as a wave of ever-enthusiastic Magpies fans found out about Hanwell for the first time.

One football account shared a Tweet with the five most-followed clubs in the Isthmian South Central.

Elsa, Hanwell Town's Head of Marketing and Social Media, explained: "That was us, Basingstoke, Bracknell, Thatcham, whoever else... I just re-tweeted it and said, 'I wonder how many of these 5,000 are Newcastle United fans?'.

"That started it off really.

"People were asking, 'why Newcastle fans?'.

"So after that, we put up a graphic we made a few months ago explaining why we are nicknamed The Geordies, that sparked it up a little bit more."

Initially, the club gained 1,000 extra followers from Newcastle United fans wanting to support the project, then it just kept on growing.

Soon fans had turned it into a game of trying to get Hanwell Town to be the most followed club in the league.

Now the club has nearly 18,000 followers, achieving that goal.

"We wiped the floor with all of them," Elsa joked.

It's been all smiles on the field for Hanwell Town in recent weeks too.

The side has won all of their last five fixtures, including a 12-0 thumping of Staines, and sit fourth in the league.

The club has always played in black and white to honour their Geordie roots and this month's influx of followers has seen plenty of Newcastle fans wanting a Hanwell shirt of their own.

As such, the club has now launched a pre-order system after selling out of stock in record time.

Elsa has been in charge of toing and froing from the Post Office, sharing images of orders upon orders waiting to be sent out.

She added: "It was great fun carrying all that to the post office!"

You can order your own Hanwell Town shirt here.