‘Idiot’ drivers tear up kids’ football pitch

DAMAGE DONE Coach Shaun Hamill said the children might have to wait until spring before the pitch is repaired.
DAMAGE DONE Coach Shaun Hamill said the children might have to wait until spring before the pitch is repaired.

Junior football has been ruined for children across the district after chunks of a pitch were torn up by thoughtless midnight drivers.

Nibshaw Lane playing field, which hosts Gomersal and Cleckheaton FC’s under-nine and 10 teams as well as visiting clubs, has been severely damaged by drivers skidding across grass – for the second time in a fortnight.

Matches have been postponed to the disappointment of the club’s young players and the current temperature means fresh grass may not be able to grow until spring next year.

Under-nine team coach Shaun Hamill said: “I don’t know why someone would have such little thought to ruin something for everyone else.

“We have spent a lot of time as a local football team making the pitches great to play on and then some idiots spend probably less than a minute destroying it.

“The kids are absolutely devastated, they just want to play football.”

Between the two teams and the visitors, the postponed matches have affected around 100 children in the area.

Mr Hamill said he has been in touch with Kirklees Council, which he said was usually very responsive, but had doubts about what could be done to save the pitch until the weather warms enough for new grass to be able to grow.

“We will try to make repairs and for the matches we will just have to try to work around it,” he said.

“The kids train on Astroturf but for playing the other teams they want a real match.”

In the meantime Mr Hamill hoped the council would consider putting obstructions at the edges for the field to make it more difficult for vehicles to enter.

He said the season was going well until this recent setback.