A junior football club has been left without a pitch to play on after yobs rode on it with off-road bikes. 

Earlier this year, Little Lever Sports Club was given use of Darley Park by Bolton Council after months of looking for a place to play football for more than 20 junior teams.

But on October 16, police were called to the park in Farnworth after off-road bikers ruined the pitch with track marks.

Tim Dabbs, who runs the club, said the teams were ‘devastated’ after finding out and the club was now in danger of folding as the teams have nowhere to play.

The Bolton News: Darley Park

He said: “We have use of the pitch long term after the council let us use it, and we finally had somewhere to call home.

“We had put signs up for no dog fouling and bikes on the pitch, but this has taken the pitch out for the season as it will need relaying.”

This is not the first-time off-road bikes have been used on the pitch as it has been ongoing since June.

Tim said: “This happens weekly and, as we were leaving the pitch, they were coming on so they clearly do not care.

"The teams and I are devastated because now we have nowhere to play our home games.

“We have nowhere else to go and it means we might have to fold the teams if we cannot play.

“Some of these kids, it’s all they have to do and it’s their release.”

The Bolton News: Darley Park

Scores of young people have been seen arriving at the park, some in vans, with their bikes in the back, says Tim.

More than 40 children are in Little Lever Sports Club and are affected by the pitch being ruined.

Cllr Nadeem Ayub, for Farnworth North, said they had become aware of the issues with off-road biking in Farnworth but encouraged people to continue reporting it so the culprits could have their bikes seized.

He said: “Off-road bikes have been an issue in Farnworth for some time, and it has been reported to the police.

“It is a priority in Farnworth but if you do see these bikes, then get some evidence and report it.

“We need this to get police to take action and the more that it is reported, then the more chance police can get hold of them and take the bikes off them.”

Bolton Police recently joined a bid for a GMP unit to tackle off-road bikes to come to the area, however this team is currently in Oldham.