The first phase of an ambitious £280,000 ground development programme has been completed by Linby Colliery Welfare Football Club.
The pitch at Linby’s Church Lane ground has been moved, widened and levelled in a project that has spanned six months.
New perimeter railings and dugouts have also been installed, while the clubhouse has been revamped, complete with new flooring, a stand has been moved and equipment to maintain the ground has been bought.
It has cost £30,000, the biggest single investment Linby have made in the 14 years that chairman Adrian Ward has been at the club.
And it is all part of a dream to resurrect Linby’s glory days of the 1950s when they won the Notts FA Senior County Cup three times and even reached the First Round proper of the FA Cup at their old Gatehouse Ground.
But the Central Midlands League outfit are determined not to stop here. Phase two is the installation of £50,000 floodlights, which should enable Linby to gain promotion to the next level of the non-league ladder. And phase three are a new clubhouse and dressing rooms, expected to cost £200,000.
Ward said: “This work was vital because the previous pitch was terrible. The project has been a bit of a headache, with its ups and downs. But we now have a beautiful surface that is the best in the league.
“We have to look after it, and we can’t stop here. We must push on with the rest of the development programme.”
Ward was full of thanks and praise for all the volunteers and sponsors who have helped with the work.
Linby received a grant of more than £15,000 from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, which is bankrolled by the Premier League and is expected to send a former star to officially unveil the pitch before the home game against Swanwick Pentrich Road on Saturday, October 13.
The club raised the rest of the money themselves, including from a sponsored bike ride to Skegness, a race night and a sportsman’s evening featuring ex-Nottingham Forest and England star Steve Hodge.