Football community helps blaze-hit club
THE football community has stepped in to support a Hyndburn youth team, whose equipment was destroyed in a fire.
Burnley FC offered to donate training kit and equipment to Clayton Park Rangers FC, after a garage, where they kept their gear, burned down in a ‘suspicious’ fire, as reported in last week’s Observer.
Accrington Stanley and the Lancashire FA have also pledged help.
The Clayton club set up a Justgiving page in a bid to raise £800 for the lost equipment.
Darren Bentley, Burnley FC press officer, said he is from the area and wondered what they could do after spotting the appeal following the fire.
He said: “I spoke to the academy and they said they could donate some balls and bibs, and another colleague has a full junior kit to give.
“It’s the least we could do for a well-established, well-known club.”
Darren has also asked that the club contact him to arrange for the young players to come to the Clarets’ training ground to be presented with their new equipment by some of the club’s Premier League stars.
Rangers have also received £500 from the Lancashire FA.
Gareth Cross, Clayton Park Rangers club secretary, said: “It’s totally mind-boggling, we’re still trying to get our heads around it all, but we’re really pleased and overwhelmed with the support.
“It has well and truly exceeded our expectations. When Burnley got in touch, we couldn’t believe it. I was shellshocked and thought ‘this isn’t really happening!”
Gareth, 37, said Accrington Stanley had also donated a signed ball for the club to auction as part of a fundraising event planned for November 17.
Lancashire FA chairman Roger De Nobrega said: “When it was brought to our attention of the club’s plight we had to try to help in some way. We hope the donation can be used by the club to purchase new kit and equipment and ensure football can continue to be played by the large number of players and volunteers involved with Clayton Park Rangers FC.”
Lancashire police confirmed that investigations into the fire on Chequers in Clayton-leMoors at around 7.40pm on Sunday, October 22, are still ongoing.
Gareth Cross with the garage destroyed in a ‘suspicious’ fire