A kind hearted gesture for a group of tiny footballers has sparked a bizarre row – it’s as clear as mud at Sandy Lane this week.
When Jack Muldoon led Worksop Boys Club Under 6s out onto the pitch for an impromptu kickabout on Saturday, he turned their disappointment into joy.
The youngsters were invited to be mascots as Tigers took on Buxton – but the game was called off at 3pm after the teams had warmed up.
Boys Club assistant manager Richard Nelson said: “Fourteen six-year-olds were feeling sorry for themselves, but up stepped Jack Muldoon who lifted the lads onto the pitch for a kickabout.”
“It went from being a horrible day to the kids loving it.”
Boys Club and Worksop Town agreed to bring the youngsters back to Sandy Lane on 8th February to fulfill their mascot duties.
But the tale took an unexpected turn, as Mick Taylor – groundsman for leaseholders P&M Leisure – took to the Tigers supporters forum to bemoan Muldoon’s actions.
He posted: “Yes well played Jack the pitch was unfit for play (and) while I appreciate it’s hard to tell the kids thay can’t have a game, the damage done has now contributed to to nites (sic) game being off it will also contribute to alll future games being put at risk during this wet weather.”
Taylor’s thoughts, and the subsequent news that the youngsters wouldn’t be allowed back on 8th February, sparked a furious reaction from some Tigers fans.
To further muddy the waters, his views were backed up by Worksop Town director Chris Smith, who asked for answers on why the kids were allowed on the pitch from his fellow club officials, saying: “I am still waiting for an explanation from those responsible within WTFC.”
“At least I’ve accounted for my involvement in this but as far as others are concerned, heads and parapets come to mind.”
But Max Ross of P&M Leisure moved to calm the situation.
He revealed that the leaseholders have asked Worksop Town to ensure that only players and match officials go on the pitch until it recovers from recent rainfall and damage.
He told the Guardian: “We don’t blame the kids, we don’t blame Jack Muldoon, they were victim to the weather and circumstances.”
“It’s not that we’ve banned them from the pitch, when things improve they’re welcome to go on at half-time, it’s fantastic to see kids involved.”
“Unfortunately the verti drain holes have got clogged up in the goalmouth because it all got churned up.”
“The kids, and Jack Muldoon, have done nothing wrong, it was fantastic what he did – but it was ill advised, and someone should have said hang on a minute, there’s standing water on the pitch.”