Town rallies to help soccer club after arson attack

PUBLISHED: 14:00 21 January 2012

Weston's ASDA presented a cheque for £500 to Weston St. Johns Junior Football Club after the arson attack.

Weston's ASDA presented a cheque for £500 to Weston St. Johns Junior Football Club after the arson attack.

ASDA, Weston

A WESTON football club - which was left devastated after an arson attack destroyed all of its training equipment - has been so overwhelmed by donations it has replaced its kit and is looking for new members.

Weston St John’s Junior football club, based in Coleridge Road, had its portable goalposts, corner flags, nets, footballs and cones destroyed in a deliberate fire last month.

Manager Gene Sprague told the Mercury he feared the team would not be able to train again for a long time.

But after the incident was reported in the Mercury, businesses around the town were quick to call the club and offer to help.

Mr Sprague, said: “We have had such a big response from the community and other football clubs and I think it’s just phenomenal.

“It just goes to show there are people out there within the community that will help. Everyone has been amazing and we want to say a big thank you to everyone.”

The club has received a helping hand from individual donations and companies such as Mike Whittaker Builders, Specsavers, Change Recruitment Services Ltd and Asda.

In total the club has received £750 along with goals, football bibs and other training equipment to get them back on track.

Asda’s Rachel Mansfield recently presented the club with a cheque for £500.

She said: “After reading about the arson attack in the Mercury, I approached the Asda Foundation at head office.

“They couldn’t believe what had happened to the boys’ football club so they were more than happy to provide a cheque so the club could purchase more training equipment and kit.”

The club has received so much help and donations that it is looking to recruit more members and managers.

Mr Sprague said: “We are definitely looking into getting more players and managers to get ready for the summer tournament.

“After all of the help I’m pretty sure we are set. Before the fire we thought we would be scrimping and scraping for funds but now we will be prepared for the tournament.”

n Pictured: Players and helpers with the cheque from Asda.

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