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Town’s New Pitches are Top of the League

Published Thursday, 19 November 2015

A Clitheroe sports pitch is top of the league thanks to a £50,000 boost from Ribble Valley Borough Council and Sport England.

The new 3G pitches in Edisford Road were officially opened by Preston North End striker Joe Garner and Ribble Valley Mayor Bridget Hilton.

The £50,000 pitches have been funded by Ribble Valley Borough Council and Sport England’s Inspired programme, which is part of the London Olympics legacy.

The facility opened in 2002 featuring four tennis courts and a sand-based artificial turf football pitch. 

The new 3G pitch has a surface made from synthetic fibres and rubbers that look like grass, but unlike many artificial surfaces do not contain sand, so can withstand heavy use and inclement weather.

Ribble Valley Mayor Bridget Hilton said: “Ribble Valley has a rich sporting heritage, with not one but two Olympians from London 2012, as well as several professional footballers and a host of community clubs.

“Our thanks go to Sport England for their kind support and our community clubs, Clitheroe Wolves being a shining example, who work tirelessly to develop the borough’s young sporting talent.

“We are delighted to open this facility, which local residents can be proud of and enjoy for years to come.”

The council’s sports development officer, Peter Fletcher, said: “Ribble Valley has a thriving sports community and this facility will benefit residents young and old for years to come.”

Joe Garner, League One’s Player of the Year in 2014 and a former pupil of Ribblesdale High School in Clitheroe, played for Clitheroe Wolves FC and trained on the pitches. 

He said: “I have many fond memories of playing on these pitches and this new facility will give local sport a fantastic boost.”

Clitheroe Wolves was formed in 1992 and received FA status in 2000. It has 34 teams and 440 players, including many girls. 

The club’s vice-chairman, Neil Hitchen, added: “This new pitch will be invaluable for us, particularly in winter, and will be a fabulous facility for the town.”

As well as football, the new Edisford Road pitches will be used for junior rugby and other sports.

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