A VILLAGE football team which was kickstarted more than half a century ago has folded in Burtonwood.

After launching in the 1950s, Burtonwood Albion has enjoyed numerous successes on the pitch, picking up a collection of silverware along the way.

Manager Phil Anders, who played for the club for 10 years before taking over the helm after an injury forced him to stop playing, had hoped to continue the club for many years to come so future generations could hone their football talents in the village.

But he was forced to make the difficult decision to fold the club last month, which had provided training for players over the age of 16.

“I’ve been the manager for 15 years and before that I played for the club so it’s been a big part of my life,” said the 37-year-old, who grew up in Burtonwood.

“It’s such a shame – it’s heartbreaking really that it’s happened.

“We have a big football community in Burtonwood but we can no longer offer that.”

Phil shared his disappointment over the council’s efforts to fix the boiler and the leak at Burtonwood Pavilion on Gorsey Lane, which resulted in the decision to close the building due to health and safety reasons.

The facility was used by the football club for training and matches.

“It has been 18 months with no heating and hot showers,” said Phil.

“I can’t say the council hasn’t attempted to fix the boiler – because they have.

“But then something happened on the other side of the pavilion which caused a leak so they’ve closed the building.

“We haven’t been given a time frame for when the work will be carried out.”

Cllr Cathy Mitchell (Burtonwood and Westbrook - LAB) told the Warrington Guardian that the decision to close the building was due to health and safety, which was of the upmost priority.

She said: “The leak was caused by vandalism and we had to close the pavilion because it wasn’t safe.

“We are working as quickly as we can but we have to get three quote before the parish council can make a decision.”