A charity football match was thrown into doubt after travellers broke into a sportsground car park late night (Tuesday 24th May).
The Portchester AFC are set to host up to 1,700 football fans at the recreation ground on Saturday as Portsmouth footballers take on Glasgow Rangers in aid of Help for Heroes.
Chairman of Portchester AFC, Paul Kelly, said, “We had a text message saying that they had broken through one of the gates on the far side of the field. Our concern was the game we’ve got coming up at the weekend. If they were on the field, there would be no game because that is where we were going to park.”
Police were on the site this morning liaising with Fareham Borough Council officers about moving the group on. The group were told that Police would serve a section 61 notice if they hadn’t moved by 2pm this afternoon.
The travellers, in a convoy of eight caravans, arrived at the Wicor recreation ground in Portchester last night, sawing through wooden bollards to gain access.
Police and Fareham Council officials were successful in moving the convoy on.
Other locals have also been affected. Debbie Mills had concerns about her horses that she keeps in a nearby field but kind-hearted managers kept guard after letting her move the horses into the football pitch in the late hours.
She said, “We would have been sleeping in the stables last night and it’s my little girl’s birthday today so she wouldn’t have been happy waking up with no mummy. We had a fear that they would either be riding them or potentially taking them.
“I think the council did the right thing in letting them stay one night and then moving them on because they haven’t got anywhere to go but it puts a massive strain on us locals. It affects us in so many ways that people don’t realise.”
Mr Kelly added, “I want to thank the local authorities and the police as they did a fantastic job of getting them off so quickly.
“We just want to move on now and look forward to the weekend’s game and welcome all the supporters who are coming from Glasgow, Ireland London and Portsmouth.”