Leeds Utd goalkeeper Paddy Kenny’s first football club hit by melting goalposts

Karen Bottomley with U-10 players.
Karen Bottomley with U-10 players.

A junior football club where Leeds Utd keeper Paddy Kenny started out has suffered at the hands of arsonists who attacked a container on Ling Bob Playing Fields, Pellon, Halifax.

Wood pallets were dragged and stacked-up outside the container and set on fire.

The heat generated resulted in plastic goalposts inside the secured container melting and being unfit for use by St Columba’s Junior Football Club.

Club treasurer Karen Bottomley turned up on Sunday morning along with the U-10 team said it was very disappointing to attack a community group which works on behalf of local youngsters.

She said a spare set of goalposts in the container were able to be used but matches were delayed for around 45 minutes because of the time it took to open the damaged container lock.

The container overlooks houses on Rye Lane and Mrs Bottomley said she wasn’t aware of anybody reporting the blaze but if it was started by younsters it would be ironic.

“We now have 140 players with the club which is nearly double 18 months ago and if we have no equipment it is the kids’ who are losing out. It’s them we are trying to help,” she said.

“All the kids’ were disappointed and it’s not good for young kids to see this kind of behaviour.”

The club will now face a cost running into three figures to replace the damaged equipment and repair the damaged lock.

There has been previous attempts to break into the container without success. Around three years ago another fire was started outside the container but didn’t damage equipment.

St Columba’s JFC was formed in 1989. The club started out with links to the church of the same name just down the road.

The club’s most famous past player is Leeds Utd keeper Paddy Kenny.