Billericay kids footie: Police say no breaches took place

Football tackle

Article by Matthew Critchell: Police insist no Covid-19 rule breaches took place as a children’s football game was held during the pandemic lockdown.

About 30 parents watched their children play the match on Sunday at land near Dukes Head Pub, Laindon Common Road, Billericay and it came under fire from club bosses.

Since Essex Police has confirmed no Covid rules breaches or illegal activity took place.

The land is home to Billericay Town Colts and Nick Hutt, 45, Chairman of Billericay Town Colts and co-owner of Billericay Town Football Club slammed the game.

He says there was another event arranged for this weekend.

Billericay Town Colts is the youth section of Billericay Town Football Club and Mr Hutt said:

“I was woken up by a call from the police to say they had a complaint about a match taking place. I was shocked, horrified and couldn’t believe it and my worse fear was that people would think it was Billericay Town Football Club. In the current climate with what’s happening with the Covid-19 pandemic, I couldn’t believe it. I was told there was 30 people watching the game and a committee member went down there but the police had already been. I posted on Twitter about it to make it clear it was nothing to do with us and so wrong. We work so hard in the community to get a good reputation and wanted to make sure people knew it was nothing to do with us. It was held by dads of kids playing for a range of clubs across the whole country and there was lots of organisation with special kits as well. There was also one arranged for next weekend too. When I approached them they got aggressive and tried to pretend they had done nothing wrong.”

Hundreds joined online conversation about the match - with plenty of anger aimed at the event bosses.

There’s also been issues nationally, images of players celebrating inside tightly packed dressing rooms were an unwelcome feature of FA Cup third-round weekend.

Crowds of fans gathering outside cup ties drew criticism and caught the attention of government ministers.

Club boss Mr Hutt added:

“The match was completely against the Covid rules and we all miss the game. I miss the joy of watching my sons play matches. People seem to think if others can, they can break the rules as well. I do not know what goes through the minds of these people and I hope nobody caught Covid-19 on the day too.”

He blamed many issues and said pushy parents take the matters into their own hands and fear their kids could lose top places in their teams.

The Dukes Head Pub was contacted for comment.

Article by Matthew Critchell, The Echo