Tadcaster Albion call for a Premier League footballer to donate a week's wages to repair Storm Ciara flood damage

A Yorkshire football club which suffered devastating damage after Storm Ciara has called on support from those higher up the sport's pyramid.
Flooded youth pitches at Tadcaster Albion's groundFlooded youth pitches at Tadcaster Albion's ground
Flooded youth pitches at Tadcaster Albion's ground

Tadcaster Albion's pitches and clubhouse were flooded after a two-metre steel wall was demolished by the force of the water when the River Wharfe burst its banks.

The club can no longer get insurance cover after a previous flood in 2015, and have been left with a £42,000 repair bill.

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"This could be the end" say Tadcaster Albion FC after devastating Storm Ciara floodingTheir first team play in the Northern Premier League and Leeds United also hire the pitch for Under 23s fixtures, which are a major income stream for the club.

Chairman Andy Charlesworth has slammed Premier League clubs and stars for not dipping into their pockets to support eighth-tier Tadcaster, who are facing the possibility of disbanding if they cannot raise the funds needed.

A Justgiving page has generated £6,000 in public donations - but had a target of £12,000.

"We could do with a Premier League player donating a week's wages, that would realistically just sort us out," said Andy.

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"But typically of the larger clubs, we've had no feedback. It seems to be that the non-League family are looking after ourselves."

Other non-League clubs have held bucket collections at their games and a departing Tadcaster player even donated his February wages to the cause.

But there is frustration that the average weekly salary of a Premier League player of around £40,000 would be enough to get the club back on its feet.

"There's so much money in the Premier League, and I would say the Championship as well, we're not asking for much," he said.

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"Even if they just did a bucket collection. If there's 30,000 people going to a game, and they all chipped a pound in, it's not really much, is it?"

A clean-up at the club will take place on Friday afternoon, with local volunteers heading down to help.

"Maybe it'll shame some of the Premier League players!" said Mr Charlesworth.

Among those who may feel compelled to help is Lewis Cook, the Bournemouth and England midfielder who grew up in Tadcaster. Cook, 23, played for Tadcaster Grammar School before joining Leeds United's academy and still has family living in the area. He signed for Bournemouth in 2016. Although the club pay their players an average of £35,000 per week, as a capped England international he is likely to one of their higher earners.

Leeds United Under 23s were due to play Wolverhampton Wanderers Under 23s at Tadcaster Albion's ground tonight, but the match has been moved to York City's Bootham Crescent stadium.