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If we reached Ed Sheeran, it would be just perfect - hockey club's ambitious target in fundraising drive

Watton Hockey Club chairman, Grant Harwood, with welfare officer and junior section manager Julie Wilkins, left, and head coach Melinda Vincent, on the pitch, with holes and patches, which they are campaigning to resurface. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Watton Hockey Club chairman, Grant Harwood, with welfare officer and junior section manager Julie Wilkins, left, and head coach Melinda Vincent, on the pitch, with holes and patches, which they are campaigning to resurface. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

A thriving hockey club in desperate need of new pitch has launched a fundraising campaign it hopes will reach popstar Ed Sheeran.

Holes and patches on the Watton Hockey Club's pitch as a campaign to resurface it has been launched. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYHoles and patches on the Watton Hockey Club's pitch as a campaign to resurface it has been launched. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A big part of the community, for more than 40 years men, women and children have been getting competitive and having fun as members of Watton Hockey Club.

But the astro pitch at Watton Sports and Social Club, with which the hockey club is affiliated, is starting to show its age and needs to be resurfaced.

It is estimated the work will cost in the region of £200,000, so the club has taken to social media to push a video asking for help.

Members of the club’s junior teams can be seen holding placards with information about the club’s plight while Ed Sheeran’s I See Fire is played in the background.

Holes and patches on the Watton Hockey Club's pitch as a campaign to resurface it has been launched. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYHoles and patches on the Watton Hockey Club's pitch as a campaign to resurface it has been launched. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

It is hoped with the Suffolk musician’s fiancée Cherry Seaborn being a keen hockey player, he may want to offer a hand.

Julie Wilkins, junior section manager at the club and vice-chairman of Watton Sports Association, came up with the idea for the campaign.

She said: “All the children are getting upset because they think there is going to be nowhere for them to play hockey.

“We’re hoping Ed Sheeran will see it and even if he shares it, so we can get anyone to help us raise the money.”

Ed Sheeran. Picture: SIMON PARKEREd Sheeran. Picture: SIMON PARKER

The club has development teams for both boys and girls, as well as three women’s teams and two men’s teams.

The pitch is used heavily by the community through school hockey teams, football teams and also hosts hockey tournaments.

A big part of the sports and social club’s revenue, if the pitch is not relayed it could have a big impact on the centre and could see the hockey club fold.

Melinda Vincent, Watton Hockey Club head coach and chairman of Watton Sports Association, said: “The centre would be lost without the pitch and the loss of revenue would be catastrophic.

“We can get one more season out of it but we have to be selective and just leave it to use for matches. At the moment the pitch is too fragile to offer it out and grow participation.”

The club has so far raised more than £5,000 and local businesses and community members have offered support.

To view the video visit Watton Hockey Club on Facebook and to donate visit their Just Giving page.

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