Cash pledge saves team’s heartbreak

Leslie Hearts manager Andrew Davidson and assistant Craig Noble
Leslie Hearts manager Andrew Davidson and assistant Craig Noble

A big-hearted gesture by a pensioners group and help from Fife’s Depute Provost have helped save a historic football team from being disbanded.

The managers of Leslie Hearts Football Club made an impassioned plea to the town’s community council two months ago for help in securing their future.

The 110-year-old team, which would otherwise have had to be disbanded for good, needed around £500 to pay for use of playing pitches, use of a pavilion for teams to change in and for new kit.

Members of the committee had previously offered to apply to Fife Council on the team’s behalf to see if they could get their ground rental for use of playing pitches which are part of Leslie Common Good land.

But when those attending last week’s community council meeting heard of the Council’s refusal Fife Depute Provost and councillor Kay Morrison instantly wrote a cheque for £100 in order to ease the teams woes.

Moved by the gesture Helen Frew, secretary of the Leslie old Folks welfare committee then committed a further £200 saying: “This is an opportunity for the older folk of Leslie to support those younger persons in a worthwhile pastime.”

Committee members then agreed to meet the shortfall, understood to be £180.

Committee vice chairman Brian Coyle said it was a heart warming gesture and one that would be appreciated by many in the town.

“It came as a complete surprise when councillor Morrison produced her cheque book and pledged the donation and it’s also a great advert for community spirit when the Old Folks Committee also agreed to help,” he added.

The team’s assistant manager Craig Noble who attended the meeting after his side had just secured a mid-week 4-0 cup win versus local rival Kinglassie, said that he and his colleagues were heartened by the support shown.

“It’s brilliant for us to know we can now afford the fees to play our matches this season and the donations made are very much appreciated,” added Craig.

“We’ve also just secured substantial sponsorship from three firms within the town which has really given the team an extra boost and has made us realise that having a football team in Leslie really does matter to residents.”

And Craig added that they now plan to reciprocate the pensioners offer by helping with their future charity work to show their gratitude for the donation received.