A football club from East Lancs raised almost £4,000 to ensure it can continue to run its teams, from under-sevens right up to adults.

Oswaldtwistle St Mary’s FC held a fundraising night at Accrington Stanley’s 1968 Lounge at the end of March, which included a three-course meal for the 107 guests that attended as well as a performance from comedian Dom Woodward and a Q+A with former Blackburn Rovers player Colin Hendry.

There was also an auction which included a host of football and boxing memorabilia and a raffle which included a meat hamper and meals at local restaurants.

Lancashire Telegraph: Colin Hendry (left) at the fundraising night for Oswaldtwistle St Mary's FCColin Hendry (left) at the fundraising night for Oswaldtwistle St Mary's FC (Image: Damian Chamberlain)

All of these helped the club to raise £3,800 – with more than £900 of that coming from raffle ticket sales alone.

As is the case with many grassroots and community clubs, Oswaldtwistle St Mary’s has to fund much of the upkeep of their grounds by themselves – in their case that includes maintaining the ground for the senior team, marking out pitches, and sanding the pitches to make them less sensitive to rain.

The club estimates that to cover just one of their 11-a-side pitches in enough sand would cost around £2,500 – with three 11-a-side pitches, two seven-a-side, and one nine-a-side, maintaining the area does not come cheap.

Club spokesperson Damian Chamberlain said: “We hit around £3,800 on the night, it was a really successful night. It’s helpful for the kids as well because we need the money to sort the ground out, especially after this weather we’ve had.

“We haven’t got any other funding at the moment. We’re getting out and looking for as many sponsors as we can because we’ll need new kits, new equipment – balls, bibs, cones.

“They [the players] only pay between £20 and 25 a month which covers their insurance. We have to pay for 3G pitches, council pitches, referees – we’re not making anything off the subs really, it’s just covering the kids to play.”

The club is set to grow next season with the addition of four new teams at various age groups, which Damian estimates will take in 40 to 50 new players.

Lancashire Telegraph: The pitches at Oswaldtwistle St Mary's FCThe pitches at Oswaldtwistle St Mary's FC (Image: Damian Chamberlain)

He said: “Without this we wouldn’t be able to start work on the ground, we probably wouldn’t have been able to take on the extra kids that we have.

“We’re growing. We’ve got another 40 or 50 kids that have joined us from under-nine upward. I brought another four teams on last season and we’re looking at another three or four teams for next season, meaning we’ll have potentially 16 teams in total from under-seven to under-17.”