Football club's rally raises thousands as community gets behind 3G pitch appeal
PUBLISHED: 11:46 02 May 2019
Hundreds of young footballers, their parents and coaches marched through Saffron Walden on Saturday to show their support for a campaign to build a 3G pitch in the town.
Saffron Walden Community Football Club hosted the rally to promote its campaign and fundraising efforts to build a 3G artificial grass pitch.
The events are part of an ongoing campaign to raise at least £100,000 to support the projected costs of £900,000.
The clubs have requested a contribution from Uttlesford District Council (UDC), with the remaining funds sought from the FA and Football Foundation.
The rally attracted some 350 young players, parents and coaches, and a charity match and penalty shoot-out later in the day raised more than £1,000. A sold-out quiz night raised a further £1,000 and the U12 Blues Girls' team stood as mannequins for the day at clothing store Phase Eight in Saffron Walden, raising more than £400.
The campaign rally departed from Saffron Walden County High School, before scheduled stopping points at the UDC offices in London Road. Letters requesting the council's support for the project were delivered to Cllr Howard Rolfe, leader of the council, and Cllr Barbara Light, of Residents for Uttlesford.
Cllr Rolfe told the crowd that he was supportive of the proposal, and was confident that it would be financially backed by UDC.
The rally also stopped at Saffron Walden Town Hall, where the 350 attendees were met by Saffron Walden mayor Councillor Paul Fairhurst, and former mayor, Councillor Mike Hibbs.
Martin Johnson, chairman of the football club, said: “What an amazing weekend we have had. All the events our volunteers put on have been brilliant, and the response from everyone – to the rally, the collections, and everything else – has been fantastic. To see hundreds of people walking through the town and into the Market Square on Saturday was really special. We also really welcome the support which councillors Rolfe, Light, Hibbs, and Fairhurst have given us.
“We have now raised about £5,000 in a very short time which is a great start. We will press on over the next few months with further events and we would ask everyone to please get behind our campaign. The 3G facility will benefit the whole district and we desperately need better sporting facilities for more people to use.”