Fans pitch in at South Shields FC after storms wreak havoc on Mariners Park

South Shields FC vice-chairman Gary Crutwell and commercial manager Colin Docherty worked alongside volunteers at Mariners Park all week.
South Shields FC vice-chairman Gary Crutwell and commercial manager Colin Docherty worked alongside volunteers at Mariners Park all week.

Football supporters who gave up their time to help carry out emergency work on their club’s playing surface have been hailed for pitching in.

South Shields FC have installed temporary drainage at Mariners Park over the last week following a spate of postponements over the winter.

From left to right, volunteers Brian Lawson and Adam Dixon with South Shields commercial manager Colin Docherty and vice-chairman Gary Crutwell.

From left to right, volunteers Brian Lawson and Adam Dixon with South Shields commercial manager Colin Docherty and vice-chairman Gary Crutwell.

Contractors carried out much of the work as several problem areas of the pitch were worked on.

Meanwhile, a floodlight tower which blew over at the ground on New Year’s Eve has also been repaired and put back up.

Volunteers were requested to help clear the ground of the debris and spoil brought up by the installation of the drainage, and the Northern League club was delighted with the response. The volunteers were joined by club vice-chairman Gary Crutwell and commercial manager Colin Docherty in getting their hands dirty.

Mr Crutwell said: “As with most clubs in the area, we’ve had a lot of problems with the amount of rainfall we’ve had over the last couple of months.

Whenever we’ve asked for the help of our supporters, we’ve had a great response and they’ve come down in big numbers

Gary Crutwell

“Because of the problems we’ve had, we decided to fit some temporary drains in an attempt to alleviate some of those issues in particularly bad areas of the pitch. We’re confident the work which has been done will help us a lot in the months ahead.

“A lot of volunteers have been down to help us, which we’re extremely grateful for.

“Whenever we’ve asked for the help of our supporters, we’ve had a great response and they’ve come down in big numbers, so we’d like to say a huge thanks to them.”

The temporary drainage is set to see the Mariners through to the end of the season, when a new drainage system is set to be installed for the whole pitch.

South Shields FC vice-chairman Gary Crutwell with the floodlight tower which blew over during strong winds.

South Shields FC vice-chairman Gary Crutwell with the floodlight tower which blew over during strong winds.

Speaking earlier this winter, chairman Geoff Thompson said: “The pitch is absolutely a priority for us.

“The weather in December was almost unprecedented, and the pitch wasn’t able to cope with it.

“In the close season, we will get the pitch up and put the drainage in, and hopefully that will mean that we won’t have this problem as much next season.”