South Tyneside clubs devastated after Storm Arwen causes damage to three sports grounds
High winds from Storm Arwen has caused thousands of pounds of damage to three sports grounds in South Tyneside.
The grounds of Hebburn Town FC, Boldon CA FC and South Shields and Westoe Club all suffered damage as Storm Arwen hit the borough.
The storm, which impacted on clubs across the north east and saw many fixtures postponed on Saturday, resulted in the roof of South Shields and Westoe Club being ripped off.
He said: “I’m just devastated, we had fixtures planned for today and tomorrow and have unfortunately had to cancel an engagement party tonight as well.
"It has taken out the changing rooms, offices and toilet facilities and now we don’t know what the structural integrity of the rest of the building is like.
"For the moment we are closed but we will try our best to get operational as soon as possible.”
At Hebburn Town FC, the winds caused one of the floodlights to fall and also damaged fencing in and around the ground, putting upcoming fixtures at the ground in jeopardy.
Chairman Vin Pearson commented: “It is just unbelievable, we’re devastated about what has happened, especially after all the work that the owners have put into the ground.
"It looks like the entire pylon has come down, most of the fencing around the ground has blown over and there is some damage to the fences inside as well.
"We’ve now just got to soldier on and see what happens but it is looking like 3pm kick offs at the ground may not be happening for a while.
"I think we’ll have to explore the possibility of arranging earlier kick off times or look at moving to another ground for the time being.”
The stand at Boldon CA FC, which was paid for by fundraising and built by the club community, has been destroyed by the winds, leaving chairman Kevin Oliver to appeal for help.
He said: “The stand took us around three months to build following a lot of fundraising and now it is just lying in the middle of the field.
"It is just devastating, especially for being a small club in the Northern League for the first time – the effort that went into the stand has just been blown away in the space of one night.
"We’ve got a big job on our hands now to try and salvage what we can and rebuild, I think we’re going to need all the help we can get and hope that there is no more damage.
"If anyone wants to come along and help us, they can give me a call on 07770 781476.”
Haven Point in South Shields is closed due to storm damage and will remain so for some time, the council said. Customers will be updated with further information as the situation develops.