HUNDREDS of people have signed a petition in a bid to promote safe standing at St Mary’s Stadium.

The campaign is calling for officials to allow fans stand in front of their seats during Southampton FC home matches, which has collected more than 400 signatures in its first few days.

Cllr Andrew Pope, who set up the campaign, said: “I have supported the safe standing campaign for years and now is the time when together we can make sure that it is going to happen across English football.

“All Saints fans that I have asked in Southampton and outside St Mary’s support safe standing.”

Cllr Pope has written to Saints chairman Ralph Krueger to gain support for the campaign.

Clubs in England’s top two divisions have been legally required to have all-seater grounds following the 1990 Taylor Report into the Hillsborough disaster when 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death in 1989.

Currently, more than 25 clubs in England and Wales playing in the Premier League and Football League have backed safe-standing with Manchester City, Aston Villa, Swansea City and Hull City among those in favour.

Royston Smith, MP for Southampton Itchen, said: “It has some merits but it couldn’t be introduced in the way it was in the past and the Hillsborough disaster is an example of the way not to do it. Premier League clubs should have a think about it.”

Cllr Simon Letts, leader of Southampton City Council, said: “I have always been supportive of safe standing, it adds to the atmosphere of football grounds.

“The opportunity to give fans a chance to stand would be welcomed as many fans already stand in a seated area if the relevant safety elements can be demonstrated.”

The Premier League said options were being explored with a survey.

A Department of Culture, Media and Sport spokesman said: “The government currently has no plans to change its position and introduce standing accommodation at grounds covered by the all-seater requirement.”

Saints did not wish to comment.