Children going home ‘covered in dog poo’, fumes football club

A football club in South Yorkshire has raised concerns for child safety over the large amount of dog poo littered across its pitches.

The situation has gotten so out of hand that Ecclesall Rangers Junior Football Club has described the dog fouling problem as “prolific”.

Faeces scattered across the club’s seven pitches at Whirlow Playing Fields in Dore presents a health risk to the children training there each week, Yorkshire Live reports.

These youngsters can end up going home "covered in dog poo", according to Chairman Martin Windle BEM.

The club are now desperate for a solution to their "nightmare", which they say is both disgusting and dangerous due to the potential health risks.

According to the NHS website, humans can suffer from a rare infection called toxocariasis if they come into contact with roundworm parasites in contaminated dog faeces.

It continues that most people with an infection will not experience any symptoms but that in rare cases organs including the eyes can become infected, and if this happens, there is a risk of permanent vision loss.

Mr Windle said the club's team of volunteers and parents all help to try and clear the pitches ahead of sessions but that they can't always spot all of the mess.

He explained that they often find poo all over the site, including in the sockets in the ground where goals are placed, and in front of their equipment lockup, which is just three metres away from a dog poo bin.

"This is every weekend. This is not a one-off," he added.

Mr Windle says the problem is caused by owners and professional dog walkers not cleaning up after their animals, with bins available for use and regularly collected.

Now, he has launcheda petitionasking for Sheffield City Council, who the club leases the site from, to intervene.

"We are fighting for the children to play in a safe, clean environment," he added.

The club has also entered into conversations so the issue can be discussed by local councillors in an upcoming meeting.

Mr Windle said it would be an ideal solution if fencing could be installed.

He added that it would help to prevent other forms of destruction, like that caused by quad bikers who have accessed the site over the Christmas period and damaged the pitches.

But he recognised the solution will need to account for everyone who enjoys the area.

The chairman branded all the behaviour of those who "make an absolute mess of a beautiful site," disgraceful.

And he said he will not stop fighting on behalf of the club's children.

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