THORNEY Football Club has launched a £250,000 fundraising drive to build a new pavilion in the park.
The pavilion has stood since 1973 but a leaking roof forced the council to lock up the changing room on safety grounds.
The senior team is enjoying its best league performance in its 50 year history but is forced to play home games in Gunthorpe because FA regulations require a home and away dressing room.
Playing away from the village has stripped “the soul out of the club” according to Thorney FC chairman Michael Bowen (pictured).
“In three years time there will be no football clubs left in the village,” he says. “We want to come home but the facilities are an embarrassment.
“The village deserves a facility fit for purpose, I wouldn’t keep dogs in there.”
The pavilion was once home to more than 10 sports clubs, including the village’s senior and youth football teams and running club.
The decline of the pavilion has matched a loss of sporting life in the village – the Thorney Colts have lost six junior teams in the last five years.
After five years of fruitless appeals to the City Council for funds, villagers are finally taking matters into their own hands.
An architect has drawn up plans for a replacement pavilion with an estimated construction cost of £250,000.
It will include two changing rooms with shower facilities and toilets and a separate changing room for the referee, as well as a public toilet and disabled access.
It’s a hefty sum to raise but Bowen is looking for support from villagers, fundraising or on the committee.
For anybody wanting to get involved contact: Michael Bowen (email@example.com) on 0771 401 6252 or Sam Godley (firstname.lastname@example.org) on 07572 876 311. There is also a Facebook group at facebook.com/groups/thorney.pavillion
There is a meeting on April 3 at Thorney Ex-Servicemen’s Club for anyone who would like to sit on the fund-raising committee.