Cash boost helps the Lions roar

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The chairman of a Heanor footbal club has thanked the News for helping its two teams get back on their feet following an arson attack.

Speaking back in May Neil Martin said Heanor Lions might not have been able to register to play in the Derby City Football League this season –after the club’s portable changing rooms burned down.

A metal lock-up containing corner flags, nets and balls - was also destroyed by arsonists.

But after an appeal was launched in the News for people to donate equipment and cash to the club, several organisations have responded.

This week Derbyshire County councillor Celia Cox handed over a cheque for £1,000 to Mr Martin, which will help the club buy new grounds keeping equipment.

Mr Martin said: “We’ve literally gone from thinking we were finished to the point now –where we are in a better position than we were before the fire. It’s brilliant news .”

Since hearing of the Lions’ plight in May more than ten organisations have come to the rescue of the club, which has an under 13s and an under 18s team.

Toyota worker Mr Martin, 41, of Codnor Denby Lane, Codnor, a said the response has been overwhelming –adding that the sporting spirit surrounding the Olympics had definitely aided their cause.

He said: “With everything that’s been going off with the Olympics and the ethos of keeping kids of the streets and getting them into football and sport – I think that’s really helped us.”

Both teams are to kick off their new seasons on Saturday.

The newly promoted under 18s side are to play their first game in the Derby City League Division One.