Clarets stars back campaign

Clarets stars are backing a campaign to save former Burnley school playing fields from being sold off.

Burnley FC’s new goalkeeper Tom Heaton paid a surprise visit to 150 young footballers as campaigners continue the fighting to stop the Habergham school playing fields from being sold to developers.

The hotshot stopper, youth keeper Dan Nizic and Clarets coach Billy Mercer joined youngsters at a training session with at the under-threat fields in Kiddrow Lane.

Former Manchester United youth Tom Heaton said: “We heard about the campaign that is going on and it seems like a good cause. Today we can see a great example of how many kids use the fields.

“I drive past this field every day and it is not just when they are training and kids are on. People come after school to have a kick-about – kids and adults alike.

“It is important we don’t lose these things when it has such a good effect. It is hard to put into words how much it means to the community.”

Heaton said sports pitches were crucial in youth development, saying: “It was the same for me. At the back of my house we had an old school field we used day in day out but to lose that would have been very detrimental.

“You can see it is great for the kids and its great to see them enjoying themselves and developing their supporting skills.”

Rosegrove coach Anthony Routh said: “It’s great to see Burnley players here supporting grass roots sport. Even professional players will have started out somewhere like this.”