Football’s coming home to Bramham’s Freely Lane

NAWN 1410181AM1 Bramham FC.  Chairman of Bramham FC Mick Wright with Cllr. June Halliday, Phil Cook (site manager)  Cllr. Keith Innocent and Cllr. Val Whitbread. (1410181AM1)
NAWN 1410181AM1 Bramham FC. Chairman of Bramham FC Mick Wright with Cllr. June Halliday, Phil Cook (site manager) Cllr. Keith Innocent and Cllr. Val Whitbread. (1410181AM1)

Bramham Football Club have been given the go-ahead to return to their Freely Lane base, following three years of ground-hopping.

The football club have waited since January 2012 for their new £250,000 clubhouse and dressing room complex to be completed and have been forced to play home games elsewhere since. But, with the help of Bramham Parish Council, games will return to the village in the new year.

Contractors began work on Monday to polish off the complex after the parish council approved funding to complete the development.

Ted O’Donoghue, Bramham’s first team manager, said returning home would be “massive” for the club.

He said: “We are Bramham Football Club and we belong at Freely Lane. That’s our home and where Bramham has always played.

Bramham has one Saturday football league team in the Harrogate and District League and two teams playing in the Claro League on Sundays.

The teams have had to to borrow pitches in Clifford and Boston Spa over the last three years.

“It’s been a really difficult and very frustrating three years,” added O’Donoghue.

“You don’t get the interaction with the residents of Bramham that we used to get when we were there. I cannot wait until we are back.

“The finishing line is in sight now.”

The opening of the £250,000 clubhouse had stalled due to a dispute between Bramham Sports and Leisure Association (BSLA) and Bramham Parish Council over terms of a lease agreement.

The BSLA had obtained grants and started the build in January 2012 but it did not have sufficient funds to finish it.

The parish council took control of the pavilion earlier this year and has since worked with the football club to complete the project.

The pavilion has been funded from the Bramham Community Fund and the sale of a strip of land near the playing field to Leeds City Council.

Councillor Val Whitbread, Bramham Parish Council chairman said the council was “delighted” to finish a project that had gone on for too long.

She said: “We know there has been a lot of frustration but it is the start of a big new facility for the village and we are looking forward to it very much.

“It’s an excellent facility with top quality changing rooms and we want to use it for a wide range of things.”

O’Donoghue added: “It’s been a bit gloom and doom but things are looking up now.

“The future looks good.”