When Shoppers Cross This Field at Conisbrough Play Has To Stop

11 November 1967

South Yorkshire Times November 11, 1967

When Shoppers Cross This Field at Conisbrough

Play Has To Stop

It is a far from uncommon thing for Ellershaw Crusaders to have their games interrupted when they play on their own ground in Old Road, Conisbrough for often, up to half a dozen times during a game, play has to be stopped while someone carries their week-end rations across the field by the public footpath which cuts across the pitch.

The pitch, which is a local joke among members of the team, also has serious effects on the games played there.  Many visiting teams complain about the deep gullies and uneven terrain, not to mention public footpath, which runs from one corner to the half way line. Recently Hickleton Youth team travelled from Hickleton and refused to play on it,

Long battle

Mr. John Younge, club secretary, described this week how the team, which has been part of Ellershaw Youth Club for six years, had fought a long battle with the local authorities to get the ground in 1963. “It is not up to the standard it should be,” he said. “but we cannot do anything about it as it is a recreation field.”

The team are all local Conis-brough lads except one, who travels nine miles from Wombwell to play. The main problem of the pitch centres round the position of the “Kissing Gate”- at one end and which admits people taking short cuts across the field. Despite requests for the people to take a few extra minutes to walk round and save the interruption of the game the offenders still assert, their rights.

A Solution

Mr. Younge believes that if the pathway were moved 150 yards towards the Ivanhoe School to run by the side of the Youth Club, the problem would be solved.

With regard to the actual state of the terrain, it would take three years to improve it, the club have been told, and the problem in that case would be in keeping the children off the field while the work was in progress. A local park was built in 1963 to take the stress off the football field, but within 12 months it had been wrecked by vandals and broken wreckage from the slides and swings injured a number of children.

The committee of the Youth Club, comprising Messrs W. Thomas, W. Cowles, J. Whalley and J. Younge applied for a local football ground three years ago which was owned by the N.C.B., but this was recently let to the Magnet Athletic.

“The ground we are using is not a private ground, although we have permission to use it,” said Mr. Younge. “We are willing to pay the fees for a better ground but unfortunately we have not been able to get one. The team are almost financing themselves. They are a set of lads who go out for the enjoyment of playing football and I think they are worth a better ground.”