A football team has  been forced to cancel its home matches after vandals ruined the pitch.

Breightmet United Football Club has had ongoing issues with off-road bikers wrecking the field, and now the team is unable to host home matches

Secretary of Breightmet United Football Club, James Moscrop, said the New House pitch is damaged multiple times a week, and since early December more than 100 children have been unable to play football.

He says this has been an ongoing problem for the last three years, but says that the last year in particular has been especially concerning.

James said they are in need of action to either prevent the incidents or a solution to resolve it.

He said: “The only pitch that is fit is our adult pitch at the top end.

“The issue we want to highlight is we are a charity and we don’t make anything.

The Bolton News:

“The subs from football games are reinvested into the club.

“We pay thousands to the council for the pitches.”

James says that the vandalism is affecting the children that need to use it the most, and that without the club there could be more children with little to keep them off the streets.

He added: “In the past four or five years in Breightmet the crime rate hasn’t fallen, so we want to try and get them off the streets and get them something to look forward to.

“We just need some help from the council.”

The council has said that due to the size of the playing field that “it is not possible to secure the site”. However, they said that issues are being addressed in collaboration with the police to look at the cause of the issue.

A spokesperson for Bolton Council said: “Newhouse Farm Playing Fields and other open sites across the borough suffer from periodic damage from motor vehicles, particularly motorcycles.

The Bolton News: Breightmet United Football Club Under 13'sBreightmet United Football Club Under 13's (Image: Public)

“The impact and level of damage is greater when the ground is wet and soft, as at present.

“Due to the size of Newhouse Farm playing fields (10 pitches in all) it is not possible to secure the site.

“The council continues to work closely with the police to address the root cause of the problem, unauthorised use of motorcycles.

“The council has inspected Newhouse Farm playing field on Wednesday January 26 but will only be able to carry out meaningful repairs once the ground is drier.”

MP Mark Logan for Bolton North East has called the act “selfish” and “despicable” and said that it is “unfair” that young footballers are being impacted by this.

He has vowed to work closely with police in the area, as well as the council and football club.

The Bolton News:

Mr Logan said: “The vandalism to Breightmet United Football Club's pitches is a selfish and despicable act.

“I visited the site last year and was extremely impressed with the club’s operation.

“It's totally unfair that keen young football players' progress is now being hindered by antisocial behaviour.

“I will work closely with our local police teams and Bolton Council to help Breightmet United Football Club return to top shape and deter future vandalism.”

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