A FOOTBALL club has suffered a ninth fire in the space of seven months, which has destroyed thousands of pounds worth of equipment.

Arsonists set fire to the container and the pitch off Crompton Way used by Bromley Cross Football Club.

It is the latest in a recent spate of fires at the club, which began just before Christmas.

But Paul Barton, a coach at the club, said this one was the "final nail in the coffin" as it had destroyed all the equipment in the container, including a ride-on lawn mower costing about £3,000.

He said: "It is a disgrace. The container is completely burnt out and they have had more bonfires on the pitch.

"It is all in a bit of a state now. The lawn mower there costs a few thousand and we have lost the rest of our equipment including balls, the nets and goal posts.

"The shame of it all is that pitch is never going to be played on every again.

"It will become an overgrown field of weeds and people do not seem to realise this.

"When these children responsible get older and have children themselves, they will look back and think about what they have done."

The club recently revealed that it was looking for a new home following the eighth pitch fire, which happened earlier this month.

The incidents were first reported at the beginning of June when Mr Barton said there had been four fires since just before Christmas. But since then there have been another four with one on the weekend of June 9, followed by another three on June 16 and 17.

Bromley Cross Football Club has two teams, under-13s and under-14s, and Bromley Cross Warriors has one team that plays at the ground.

Footage of the blaze on Thursday, May 31 was posted on Instagram, which is how the club learned of the fire.

The team is now appealing to Bolton Council to help with its relocation.

Mr Barton said the incidents have all been reported to Greater Manchester Police.

Anybody who has any information on what happened should call officers on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.