Alnwick Town FC insists: 'The show must go on'

Alnwick Town FC is determined to host this Saturday’s home clash against Cullercoats, despite suffering extensive damage as a result of Storm Arwen.

By Amanda Bourn
Monday, 29th November 2021, 1:21 pm
Updated Monday, 29th November 2021, 2:44 pm
The new juniors' clubhouse has suffered serious damage. The roof has been ripped off and walls have collapsed.
The new juniors' clubhouse has suffered serious damage. The roof has been ripped off and walls have collapsed.

Winds of up to 98mph battered the town overnight on Friday, and officials at the football club woke up to scenes of devastation on Saturday.

A huge clear-up operation is underway at the main ground, St James’ Park. But the juniors pitch and clubhouse, at Greensfield, is facing a repair bill in the region of £1 million, and is out of action for the forseeable future.

Club chairman Tom McKie said the main priority was to make St James’s safe, so this weekend’s fixture can go ahead. Volunteers have been working hard clearing up debris today (Monday), but it has appealed for anyone who can spare the time to help out.

Volunteers are trying to clean St James' up in time for this Saturday's home game.

The clean-up operation is set to continue until Friday, between 9am and 4.30pm, so anyone interested in lending a hand should just turn up at the ground in Weavers Way.

Hot refreshments will be provided.

Mr McKie said: “The sight at the juniors’ club is absolutely horrendous. It will be out of use for the forseeable future and I can’t be certain, but I think there is about £1m worth of damage there.

"Assessors are coming tomorrow, to look at the damage there, and to St James’ Park, but we are determined to host our next game on Saturday. The show must go on."

The juniors' clubhouse has been extensively damaged.

Mr Mckie, who has been club chairman for 14 years, said he had never had to deal with a situation like this before, but he was confident that with the support of the community, the main ground would be up and running again soon.

He added: “Our supporters will be expecting it! The only thing which therefore might stop Saturday’s game is if it snows again. There is water and ice on the pitch at the moment, so we need that to drain away.

"If anyone can spare the time to help us clear things up, that would be great. All they have to do is turn up at the ground and we will gratefully accept their help.”

The stand at the Railway End has gone, and the fence at the top of the ground has also been damaged.
This fence didn't stand a chance against 98mph winds.
The club has asked volunteers to help clear up the damage caused by Storm Anwen.