Flood-hit club's future on line
A football club hit by two serious floods in eight weeks fears it may not survive another.
Harborough Town FC says the first incident cost the club tens of thousands of pounds for repairs and in lost business.
They have yet to calculate the impact of the second flood, which occurred overnight last Saturday and Sunday.
The football club, at Bowden Park, off Northampton Road, Market Harborough, is next to the town's rugby club.
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Pitches at both clubs were under water last weekend after a brook which forms the southern boundary broke its banks.
Harborough Town trustee Andy Winston said: "We were hit with a second flood on Saturday night when the brook overflowed on to the pitches.
"We tried to protect the clubhouse with sand bags, but the floodwater managed to get in.
"The same happened in November when the brook overflowed. It is the worst flooding we have had in 50 years."
The club holds events and hosts outside clubs and organisations who pay to use the facilities.
He said November's flooding cost tens of thousands of pounds in lost income, when the pitches and the clubhouse rooms could not be used, and to repair the damage to the walls and floors in the building.
The club has agreed to employ an expert to discover why the brook is overflowing and what can be done to protect the building in future. Club officials have also met insurers to discuss what can be done.
The club has expanded in recent years and has more than 700 members.
Club trustee Gordon Robinson said: "We cannot carry on like this. We are facing a doubling in our insurance premium. There needs to be solution to the problems of the brook overflowing.
"The club is a major community facility for the town, providing facilities for both boys and girls and people with disabilities. It could all be at risk if we cannot prevent this sort of thing happening again."
Trustees chairman Laurence Jones paid tribute to volunteers who worked through Saturday night and into Sunday morning to protect the building. He said: "It was a fantastic effort by this small group of people to do their best to preserve our facilities.
"The club needs everyone connected in whatever capacity to assist and be understanding during the weeks ahead while we undertake the repairs needed."
The clubhouse was due to be closed on Monday to enable clean-up and repair work to continue.
But Mr Winston said: "We decided to stay open for business because of the possibility of further floods. There did not seem much point in tidying up if it is going to happen again."
Jonathan Stamp, vice-chairman of neighbouring Market Harborough Rugby Club, said: "Our building is slightly higher up so we escaped the water coming into the clubhouse.
"But our pitches are flooded and we are losing money from having no matches and no bar takings."
Anyone who wants to help the football club can ring Andy Winston on 07846 044090.