A SPORTS club was forced to close for a few days after its car park and all-weather pitch were used by travellers.

Leigh Rugby Union Football Club, in Pennington, closed on Wednesday when 14 caravans illegally moved on to the Hand Lane site.

The caravans have moved after being issued with an order to vacate the area on Friday, but the club said it had to pay £2,000 for a company which specialises in legally and forcibly removing travellers.

A club spokesman said: “The site is clear and as secure as we can get it. We are pushing ahead to install sturdy height barriers at the gate area and also looking at vulnerable grassed areas in the vicinity that may be illegally accessed.”

The club is appealing for help to cover costs.

The spokesman said: “A great way to help is to join as a member for £10 and have a drink.

“That way we benefit from cash and you benefit in becoming a member with access to a CAMRA award winning hospitality.”