'DISGRACEFUL' vandals riding quad bikes ripped up a community football pitch.

Club secretary Stewart Burke arrived at the pitches in Green Lane on Sunday morning to find huge tyre tracks through large parts of the grass.

He said that the damage was caused by two men spotted riding quad bikes across the pitches late on Saturday night.

Mr Burke, who also works as a town councillor, explained that the club has been lucky because none of its 23 youth and adult teams use the Green Lane pitches during the winter months.

"For the club it's not had a massive impact because we don't tend to use these pitches in the winter," he said.

"But, just because we don't use them doesn't mean these people should be out there ruining them.

"It's disgraceful, they have probably ruined these pitches in minutes and it will take ages to fix them back up again."

The damaged pitches are next to the club's main pitch, which was refurbished recently by the council and is regularly used for games.

Mr Burke added: "It's lucky that they haven't been on the other pitch which has had a lot of money spent on it and we're also lucky that they didn't do more damage because of how much damage those quad bikes can do in such a short time."

It is not the first time the club have had to deal with vandalism recently after someone driving either a 4x4 or a quad bike left large tyre tracks through the pitches at Rivington and Blackrod High School last month.

The damage is a particular problem for amateur and youth football teams at this time of year because they are already likely to miss a lot of games as a result of bad weather.

In an effort to stop future issues at Green Lane Horwich Town Council is working to erect a fence around the fields.

Mr Burke added: "Horwich town council are looking into replacing a fence which used to run all the way along Green lane and we're in the final stages of that at the moment so that should help."