Grassroots football to kick off again in March
Grassroots football will return at the end of March - and it can't come soon enough for hundreds of amateur clubs across Lancashire.
Stop-start lockdowns since last spring have caused widespread disruption throughout the game, with many leagues unlikely to finish their fixtures for the second season on the bounce.
Clubs say they have been frustrated, not only by the ban on games, but also on training sessions. And some are fearful the enforced inactivity could result in youngsters losing enthusiasm for the game.
At Walmer Bridge FC, which has five junior teams and two senior sides, officials say they are worried for the future after missing so much football over the last 11 months.
"All our managers have been very frustrated with the lack of competitive football this season and say their players are starting to lose interest, casting doubt on the future of the club which will celebrate its centenary next season," said secretary Joe Goggin.
"We are of course very excited at the return of grassroots football on March 29. However, it is not clear yet whether it will be too late to complete fixtures for this season.
"The club has meetings with both the senior league and the two junior leagues that we are involved with to discuss the way forward and hopefully the return of grassroots football in some capacity very soon."