YOUNG footballers are regularly falling in dog muck because of irresponsible pet owners, a club secretary has claimed.

Lesley Allon, the secretary at Horwich St Mary’s Junior Football Club, said volunteers at football clubs are often forced to clear pitches before matches and training due to dog mess not being collected.

Her comments come in the wake of Dan Urmston, aged 45, of Whitton Mews, Horwich, being caught and brought before Bolton Magistrates Court.

A council official saw him leaving dog mess in Scholes Bank Playing Field, Horwich.

He was fined £100 for failing to remove the waste and was ordered to pay £200 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

He admitted failing to remove the waste and failing to give the officer his details.

St Mary’s Junior Football Club has 10 teams who train at Scholes Bank Playing Field.

Mrs Allon said: “Dog fouling is a mammoth problem and not just for us. I think it’s absolutely disgraceful that we have to spend at least half an hour clearing the pitch and then we have to take the excrement home to dispose of.

"Perhaps more bins would help and if they were emptied it might encourage more people to clear up after their pets.”

A Bolton Council spokesman said: “We take the issue of dog fouling very seriously and operate a zero tolerance policy towards such offences.

"Anyone in control of a dog who fails to clear up their dog’s waste can be given a £75 fixed penalty notice and if they refuse to pay they can face a maximum penalty of £1,000.

“The council recognises that the majority of dog owners now clean up after their animals, however, dog fouling remains a general problem across the country.”

Dog fouling across Bolton led to almost 1,800 complaints about the amount of mess left on the town’s paths and parks between 2007 and 2012.