Amateur football teams are being urged to keep it clean, off the pitch as well as on it.
Litter left on the touch lines of parks pitches across Lancashire after matches is an ongoing nuisance for ground staff tasked with the upkeep of council-owned pitches.
And now the Lancashire Sunday Football League is asking players and officials of its 79 teams to show more respect for the public facilities they use at weekends.
“This something we frown on and we keep reminding clubs about their responsibility to keep the place tidy,” said Eamonn McNamara, chairman of the Lancashire Sunday Football League. “But it’s like swearing during games. We don’t condone it, but stopping it is another matter.”
One Evening Post reader was so incensed by the state of his local park in Preston that he took a picture and sent it to the paper with the comment: “If they did this in the city centre, they would risk a fine for dropping litter, yet they seem to think it’s acceptable on a park. Are footballers really so exhausted that they haven’t got the strength to carry their empty drinks bottles etc home, or at least to the nearest litter bin?”
His picture showed 14 plastic drinks bottles, an assortment of pop cans and numerous pieces of plastic tape from tie-ups on just one touchline..
“The local councils wrote to the leagues a couple of years ago about litter and we wrote to our clubs reminding them that they have both a civic and a moral responsibility to keep the parks tidy,” said Eamonn. “We even suggested they take a black bin bag to games and clear up. It’s not a huge problem, but it’s annoying.”