Warriors secure funds to help keep vandals at bay

Club chairman Gary Hill of Leyland Warriors ARLFC at the fire damaged clubhouse after it was targted by arsonists
Club chairman Gary Hill of Leyland Warriors ARLFC at the fire damaged clubhouse after it was targted by arsonists

An arson-hit amateur rugby league club has said a huge thank you to fund raisers who have rallied round to help make its premises more secure.

Leyland Warriors ARLFC can now put fencing around its building to keep the firebugs out. The club was devastated earlier this summer when an early-hours arson attack on its clubhouse severely damaged the building which had opened just two years ago.

The club put out a Facebook message last week: “Since the fire Leyland Warriors has been very busy, we thank you all for supporting the green token drop in Asda and the blue token drops in local Tescos, we won both and we now have enough money to secure the club from further vandalism and arson.

“So a huge thankyou to all who helped us raise funds and donated.

“We are holding a family fun day and ALL are invited. There will be climbing wall, inflatables, archery, raffle, bbq, cakes, refreshments, stalls, plus much more, free entry, small charges for attractions.

“Hope to see you all there.”

Club chairman Gary Hill explained to the Guardian: “We won the blue coin drop in Tesco which was £5,000. It was regional for Preston, Leyland and Chorley.

“We had bag packs at Asda and Morrison’s which raised £1,500 and all the donations from people’s goodwill. An Asda sports grant of £2,00 is going to renew all our equipment.”

He said BAe may soon be getting on board, too, to refurbish the brick changing rooms.

Gary added: “Despite the fire it’s been a positive two or three months. The numbers have been good, It’s not scared anyone away.

“We’ve just got on with it.

“We’ve had the summer camps with twenty kids at each camp and summer tournaments and every one enjoyed that.

“It’s not deterred people, it’s not sent them away, they are still coming and we’re just cracking on with it.”

He said the fencing would cost around £10,000 to put up.

“As a club and myself we can’t thank people enough, they’ve all got behind us,” said Gary.

“It’s not just people at the club it’s everybody else, too. They’ve seen us, asked questions and talked to the kids.

“We’re a community club and give a lot back to the local community, so I think they’ve acknowledged that.

“It’s not just donations but offers of help, We’ve had donations of food for match days.

“It’s overwhelming.”

The blaze in May was battled by 40 firefighters from around the county.

It left the clubhouse gutted and the club, which runs teams ranging from four-year-olds, right through to open age and veterans as well as a successful wheelchair team, facing a £9,000 repair bill.

But devastated club officials vowed to fight back and a fund started to help the club raised £300 in its first four hours.

The club, based on Malt Kiln Fold, off Moss Side Way in Leyland, has been repeatedly targeted by vandals over the last year and had begun work towards a vandal-proof fence when the arsonists struck.

The Warriors’ family fun day will take place at their Moss Lane ground on Sunday, August 27, from 11am to 7pm.

People can park at the Civic Centre on West Paddock as there will be transport available to take folk to the playing fields.