The fire at the building in Bretton Woods park, which is used by many sports teams, was started deliberately. The blaze began in the early hours of today(Monday, December 6). It damaged walls and wrecked the roof, as well as causing major damage inside with the changing rooms and toilets left scorched. Equipment used by the children’s teams such as footballs, cones and poles are covered in soot and ash, which will all need replacing.
A number of fire crews, who used a turntable ladder, worked to bring the fire under control.
A motorbike parked alongside the building was also destroyed.
Stuart Cave, who lives in Bretton and is chairman of Peterborough City FC, said: “We couldn’t believe it. It has had a little fire before and some damage in the past but we had done the facilities up.” Stuart who runs several grassroots football Facebook pages and offers support to those looking to play, had spent hundreds of hours bringing new life to the facilities before the fire. He said: “I refurbished it all myself, with the help of volunteers.
“We have lost everything I have been in and all 50 plus of my footballs have burst all over the walls. “We recently bought brand new purple nets to match our kits, which cost us £500. They’re all gone, as well as the brand new flags.
“I was trying to make it more attractive again and I was trying my best.” Stuart had recently added ‘home’ and ‘away’ plaques to the changing rooms and painted the ‘home’ changing room in the team’s colour.
He said: “The building has been condemned and they are making it secure. I’ve got about four footballs and my stepladders which were made of steel left.
“I don’t know what we are going to do. I don’t know if our team can stay here, after Christmas we might have to find a new venue which is another issue.” Peterborough City FC play in Division 2 but Stuart and the players and volunteers have hopes for them to climb to Division 1. He said: “It’s taken two years to get it up to this level. To fund a new venue that could get us up to Division 1 which is where we want to be.
“The club is brilliant but without the facilities it is going to knock us back. Us grassroots teams live week by week.” Trying to stay positive, Stuart hopes something can be done to help the team.
He said: “I’m not going to be down about it. It might be a blessing in disguise, maybe something will come from it and others can help us.”
Members of the community and Bretton residents have offered to give a ‘helping hand’ in clearing the wreckage and have since set up a GoFundMe donation page to raise money to help re-purchase items lost in the fire. To donate click here.