A Leeds community club treasurer says an aging demographic, illness, caravanning and death are among the key reasons takings have fallen by £1,000 a week.
Ken Brown, treasurer of the New Burley Club, in Burley, says that the aging demographic of its members and a change in their priorities as the main reasons for the shortfall in takings.
“We have an older clientele; people get sick, people die," Ken said. "A whole bunch of them used to stand at the corner of the bar drinking, but they’ve all bought caravans and spend spare their time there.
"Over the past year we have seen takings drop by £1,000 a week – which for a club like ours is a huge amount.”
Ken first joined the club nearly 50 years ago and is now among an elite group who qualify for “double life membership”, having been on the books more than 40 years
And paints a grim picture of a club which was evidently thriving when I last visited just a few years ago: “Families used to come, and when the children grew up they came with their own children. But the youngsters don’t go to clubs like this any more.”
“We would like to get some younger people in, but it’s really tough,” he adds.
The walls of New Burley Club are adorned with sporting memorabilia from the city's two leading lights, Leeds United and Leeds Rhinos.