A LOCAL football ground was left ‘in pieces’ after huge gales damaged its stands, which has left the club out of pocket.

Athersley Rec, on Ollerton Road, was affected by winds caused by Storm Ciara over the weekend.

On Sunday, club manager Pete Goodlad was left shocked to see hundreds of pounds of damage to the panels on the stands at the ground.

“The wind knocked down 12 full fencing panels and a couple of stand signs were blown off too,” he said.

“About 20 advertising panels were blown down on the inside of the ground and three gates were smashed to pieces.

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“It’s all happened because of Sunday’s wind, it was awful to see the damage made to the pitch when I walked in.

“Luckily for us, we don’t have any games on our main pitch this weekend, so it’s not interfering with any matters of health and safety.

“But it needs fixing sooner rather than later.”

Pete has been left to fix the damage himself, by funding and installing new panels and fences.

“I have ordered new boards and I’m having to fund and pay for it myself.

“All of the repairs will cost around £600 out of my own pocket which could have gone towards the club.

“It’s so disheartening when you get set backs like these. We need to get everything fixed by the weekend after to make sure that people can play on the pitch safely and we can still function.

The club is now reaching out to the local community to get involved with restoring the pitch back to its former state.

“If anybody has time to help with any repairs, or support us in any way, please come in and give us a hand.

“We’ve always been part of the community, and will continue to work alongside them in any way we can.”