Category Archives: Football

Football’s coming home – if they can raise £250K


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 ( on 0771 401 6252 or Sam Godley ( on 07572 876 311. There is also a Facebook group at

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.

Thorney United

2017-10-16 15.25.13

Thorney football clubs – senior and junior – are looking to merge to form one single club.

The merger is critical to gain official support to fund a new pavilion in Thorney Park.

The three councillors representing Eye, Thorney and Newborough on Peterborough City Council met with football club representatives in October to try to find a way to get things moving.

The city council owns Thorney Park and is responsible for maintaining facilities. Thorney FC now plays in the Premier Division of the Peterborough League, but they are unable to play home games in the park because facilities don’t meet the conditions required by the league.

Quotes for replacement changing rooms have come in at about £200,000 and although grants are available from the Football Association, the club needs to show it is able to raise some of its own cash before it can apply successfully.

Nigel Simons, newly elected city councillor, said he was confident that decent facilities could be provided for much less than the £200,000 quoted, but he said it was important that existing football clubs banded together to give them more weight.

“All of this is possible, look at the magnificent job Thorney Rugby Club has done. They have got a fantastic clubhouse.

“I’d like to think that with some help from the council, which will come from the sale of the old community centre and library, plus grants from the FA and wind farms, there could be new changing rooms by 2019.”

Football club faces massive bill for pavilion upgrade

Thorney FC

Thorney Football Club is facing a bill of up to £10,000 to repair the pavilion in the park and there’s a real danger that the club may fold.

Chairman, Michael Bowen said work would have to be completed by the end of the summer and if the club couldn’t find the cash there was a real danger it would not be able to carry on.

The position is a dramatic turn-around from this time last year when the first team was on its way to winning the First Division title with an unbeaten 30-match run. They went on to take a place in the Premier Division of the Peterborough League for the first time.

This season, the first team have exceeded their points target and should achieve a comfortable mid-table position to maintain Premier Division status. The Reserves have struggled but are playing in Division Two – higher than they have ever played.

So with things going well on the pitch, how has the club reached a crisis? Michael Bowen takes up the story: “The price of promotion was a requirement to improve the facilities. For those who are not familiar with the Thorney Park Pavilion it is a wooden hut, erected in 1973 by Peterborough City Council and maintained only when absolutely necessary. It has been in a serious state of disrepair for many years and by the end of last season there were holes in the walls, creating mould patches and damp throughout.

“Remedial work to fix this was only carried out after e-mails were widely circulated as using the normal channels had proved fruitless. The fact that the club would like to improve the facilities should not hide the fact that the pavilion is well past its sell-by date and not now fit for purpose.

“As the necessary improvements were never going to be achievable for the start of the season, the club reluctantly entered into an agreement to play first team home fixtures at Parson Drove for the current season.

“The Reserves were able to keep playing at Thorney Park but, at the beginning of December, the pavilion was closed completely as the power supply, which was routed from the old toilet block, had been deemed unsafe.

“So our Reserve side were also homeless and have subsequently been trawling around various City Council pitches in Peterborough each home game. Work was due to be completed on the remedial work needed by the end of March but no word had been received at the time of going to press.

“With regards to the pavilion improvements, talks have been ongoing with Peterborough City Council and the Cambridgeshire FA with regards to getting the relevant funding in place, but progress has been slow.

“We now have quotes for the work required, ranging from £11,500 to £20,000. We have submitted an application for a grant which will give us 50 per cent of the overall cost. As it stands at the moment the football club itself will then be funding the remaining 50 per cent, with no commitment from the council to assist.

“Unfortunately we are now in a position whereby if we cannot get everything required in place and the work done by the end of the summer we will be faced with the prospect of losing the football club completely. We obviously hope it doesn’t come to this but it has become a very real possibility.”