Yorkshire Amateurs: 'Crisis of burst pipes won't sink football club'

A FOOTBALL club which faced ruin when burst pipes wrecked its clubhouse expects to be back in business within a fortnight.

Yorkshire Amateurs AFC of Bracken Edge - currently fourth in the Northern Counties Division 1 - feared the worst after turning up for training on last Tuesday to find the building under a foot of water.

An internal pipe had burst in half a dozen places, bringing down ceilings and destroying the bar, kitchen and electrics.

With its main source of income in ruins, the future looked grim for the club, which runs two senior sides and has 400 juniors on its books.

But, just two weeks later, the club is back on its feet and hoping to be open for business in time for a home match on January 15.

"Everyone has just been fantastic," said spokeswoman Jeni French. "There is such a strong sense of community spirit around this club and I have to say I'm proud to be part if it."

A team from local builders - and club supporters - Hodder and Brookes has worked almost non-stop on repairs since insurers gave the go-ahead, staying on the job over the New Year bank holiday.

"The insurance company realised being closed could be disastrous for the club and they were brilliant, telling us to get on with repairs as soon as possible.

"Hodder and Brookes have been here ever since and have told us they're aiming to have at least the tea room back open in time for the game on January 15," said Ms French.

Meanwhile, Yorkshire Water has reported the public water supply network is slowly returning to normal after the Big Freeze and subsequent thaw playing havoc with the system.

The company reported 2,200 bursts in December, almost four times the average for the month, with 80,000 calls for help from the public in the same period.

"Colleagues worked 24 hours a day to ensure repairs happened as quickly as possible," said a spokeswoman yesterday. "This hard work is still continuing and we are still completing around 130 repairs to burst pipes every day."