Salford fans have the support of two prospective Parliamentary candidates in their fight to prevent the Super League club changing its name to Manchester.

A name change is one of the options being considered by owner Marwan Koukash in response to worrying attendances at the AJ Bell Stadium despite a marked improvement in form by the Red Devils.

Supporters have formed a “Salford Forever, Manchester Never” group in a bid to ensure the club retains its place name after 144 years.

Rebecca Long-Bailey, who is defending the Salford and Eccles seat in the general election, was among those attending a public meeting on Monday night in the Dog and Partridge pub in Eccles.

“This isn’t just about making sure that Salford remains the name of Salford Red Devils, it’s a matter of civic pride,” she said. “To not have the name Salford is a smear on this city.”

The group say their actions are also supported by Worsley and Eccles South MP, Barbara Keeley, and a “Save Our Club” petition secured more than 500 signatures within 13 hours of its launch.

Koukash has brought in former Bradford captain Robbie Hunter-Paul to conduct a wide-ranging review and has spoken about taking matches to Old Trafford or the Etihad Stadium.