Mucky footballers told they can’t have showers as council pulls plug on ‘beyond repair’ washing facilities

The showers at Herrington Colliery Welfare Ground have been turned off by Sunderland Council.
The showers at Herrington Colliery Welfare Ground have been turned off by Sunderland Council.
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Footballers have been left looking for a new home after showers were taken out of their club’s home ground.

Penshaw Catholic Club Over-40s, one of a number of teams to play at Herrington Colliery Welfare Ground, in New Herrington, received a letter from Sunderland Council about the planned removal of the showers, as they were in need of repair.

The showers at Herrington Colliery Welfare Ground have been turned off by Sunderland Council.

The showers at Herrington Colliery Welfare Ground have been turned off by Sunderland Council.

When the Saturday morning team went to the ground for their next match, the showers had already gone.

The over-40s pay £1,300 a season to play at the facility, but are now facing up to a future away from the park in the new year.

Steve Lowery, the team’s manager, said: “The players were absolutely scruffy after the last game, and there were a couple of cuts as well which couldn’t properly be cleaned.

“I was surprised that the showers were removed so quickly after we received the letter, because it didn’t give us much notice to find somewhere else to play.

I was surprised that the showers were removed so quickly after we received the letter

Steve Lowery

“We can’t play there without shower facilities, because we have the opposition to consider as well as our own players, especially during the winter.”

Coun John Kelly, portfolio holder for public health, wellness and culture, said: “As we explained (to club secretaries), the showers were turned off because they are beyond economic repair and in need of complete overhaul.

“The showers are not capable of heating the water to a sufficient temperature, and this could compromise the hygiene quality of the water.

“To prevent any risk to users of the facility, the decision was taken to turn off the showers.

“The council will review the decision, should funding become available to undertake the necessary work.”