Sunderland vs Newcastle ladies game moved to Stadium of Light following suspected arson fire in Hetton

The Sunderland AFC Ladies will now take on Newcastle United Women in the FA Women’s National League Cup at the Stadium of Light.

Friday, 23rd August 2019, 12:23 pm
Updated Friday, 23rd August 2019, 1:21 pm

SAFC have confirmed that the ladies match which is set to take place on Sunday, August 25 has been moved to the Stadium of Light following a fire which has damaged the Eppleton CW Ground in Hetton. The fire broke out on Thursday, August 22.

Firefighters descended on the scene of a blaze at Hetton's sports centre in Bernard Park after receiving a call at 7.29pm.

People using other leisure facilities at the site, which includes a pool and Wellness Centre gym, had to be evacuated.

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Fire engines at the Hetton sports centre

Alex Scullion, chairman of the Hetton Town Trust and councillor for Houghton said: "It's a dreadful thing to have happen in Hetton.”

"It's not the first time we have an incidents, but we've had nothing as bad as this. It's just a great shame for everyone involved."

Coun Scullion said users of the centre were forced to evacuate due to smoke from the blaze.

He said: "I understand there was so much smoke about that it actually filled the leisure facility, including the pool and so on, and as a result of that, they had to evacuate. So it's not good for anyone that this has happened."

Fire crews from Rainton Bridge and Farringdon dealt with the blaze after the fire broke out in the changing rooms of the Eppleton Colliery Welfare football ground.

A spokesperson for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue said: "The roof has suffered 5% damage by fire and 100% damage by smoke.

"It was extinguished using one hose reel."

The cause of the blaze is suspected to have been started deliberately the fire service has said.

The match at the stadium on Sunday, August 25 is set to kick off at 2pm.

Sunderland supporters are encouraged to support the ladies team. Entry will cost £3 for adults and £1 for concessions. Cash turnstiles will be open in the West Stand on the day from 1pm. Youngsters under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.