An amateur football club was forced to cancel two of its games after its pitches were damaged by bikes, possibly off-road bikers.

Horwich RMI AFC development officer Mike Fish, first found out about the incident following calls from concerned residents in the area.

After paying a visit to the pitch on Friday, Mike was able to fix the damage, but it still meant that multiple junior games had to be cancelled.

He says that the behaviour is “not acceptable”, and it usually means in many cases that there is an additional cost for the repairs and time spent by the volunteers.

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Mike added: “Luckily, I was able to fix it, but it took all afternoon, maybe four to five hours.

“It’s just frustrating, and it meant more work for me and the volunteers.

“We are all a group of volunteers and spend hours putting work in, with some support from the football club foundation when available.”

The Bolton News: Although this is the first time, they have had an issue with this type of damage, the club was also the target of vandalism for three weeks in a row, in February last year, when vandals broke into their ‘dug out’ – sheltered area.

The club has invested thousands over the past few years as part of the FA Pitch Improvement Programme, as well as money spent on repairs, maintenance, and other incidents of vandalism.

The Bolton News: The pitch has now been repaired by Mike FishMike said: “Over the past four years we have been on the FA Pitch Improvement Programme having invested thousands into the facility to ensure adults and children can participate in as much football as possible.

“This behaviour is not acceptable.”

Mike says that one solution to the problem would be to put barriers up to limit access to vehicles, which would probably amount to around £8k.

However, he  added there would still need to be some access due to it being a public open space, which he says poses an issue.

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