AN amateur football club is calling on dog walkers to pick up their pets’ mess and for vandals to stop targeting their facilities.

Horwich RMI AFC has three sides which play at Hilton Community Centre Playing Fields on Nuttall Avenue and are getting ready to compete in matches again when the lockdown restrictions ease.

But as the two pitches have not been used by the club members have been left disgusted by the dog mess left on the ground, presenting a serious health risk to children.

And there have been a number of incidents of anti-social behaviour with equipment ripped out and laughing gas cannisters dumped at the site.

In the latest act of vandalism, a poles for the dog waste bins was damaged.

Club development and welfare officer Mike Fish said: “Recently we have had quite a large amount of dog mess on the pitch where our under 7s play.

“Dog waste can cause serious injuries and last year a child at CMB Football Club in Lostock suffered with Toxocariasis (an illness transmitted through dog mess).

“I would like dog walkers to keep off the pitch, we do not want to close the site.

“With people walking on the site we have had to have a new drainage system fitted which cost £1,000.

“We have also had problems with vandalism too.

“We put some infill barriers in and they were ripped out and we also had some plastic meshing made to make the ground harder and that was damaged too.”

With the club set to host matches soon, it is hoped that the message for people to be more respectful of the pitches will be followed.

An under-sixes side, an under-sevens team and an open age squad are based there.

Mr Fish added: “Like all amateur football clubs we are a voluntary organisation with a limited budget.

“We spend our time to look after the club.”

Despite the ongoing problems faced by the club regarding the dog mess and the vandalism Mr Fish said players are looking forward to showing off their skills again on the pitch.