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David TC Davies oversees football rescue mission by Network Rail

13 Mar 2023 3 minute read
David TC Davies alongside staff from Network Rail after successfully retrieving missing footballs  (Photo: Network Rail)

David TC Davies has overseen a customer complaints team from Network Rail as they rescued 12 missing footballs for a Welsh junior football club.

The staff collected the balls from hedges and the railway line and returned them safely to Portskewett and Sudbrook Junior Football Club in Caldicot.

The club was first established adjacent to the railway in 2019 and now has 196 members.

It relies on its coaches and committee members working on a voluntary basis because of its shoestring budget but still offers free access for children under eight and highly subsidised access for children aged nine to 16.

A recent arson attack saw hundreds of pounds worth of equipment destroyed and each 12 pack of footballs costs around £80 with the club spending £900 on footballs each year.

The Secretary of State for Wales enjoying a kick after the balls were retrieved. (Photo: Network Rail)

Secretary of State for Wales and Member of Parliament for Monmouth, David TC Davies, attended a visit to the junior club with Network Rail to see the balls returned.

Mr Davies said: “I am really proud of the work carried out by Network Rail, it’s fantastic that they are happy to support the community by helping this junior football club.

“Not only have Network Rail helped on this occasion, but they have committed to returning three times a year to return footballs and help maintain the pitch by trimming back hedges from the railway.”

Network Rail has pledged to continue returning any lost balls found within the railway boundary every four months.

Whilst on the football rescue mission, the team used the opportunity to trim back hedges encroaching on the football pitch and repaired a fence contributing to the pitch becoming water logged.


Barry Hadley, infrastructure maintenance protection coordinator at Network Rail said: “We are really happy to have helped this junior football club in Caldicot. We had no idea that there were that many footballs stuck in the hedges!

“Our job is to maintain a safe and reliable railway and to also be a good neighbour; if that means returning footballs and trimming back some vegetation so a community can continue to play football, then I say that’s a job well done.”

Michael Panacci, secretary at Portskewett & Sudbrook FC, added: “With the support of Network Rail, we have been able to make savings on match and training ball purchases. Last season the club spent over £900 on footballs, which for a grassroots football club, is a lot of expense.

“Also to note, that due to the pro-active work that has been completed by Network Rail, the condition of the pitch has improved by the new fence as it has helped prevent the pitch from becoming waterlogged.”

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Steve George
Steve George
1 year ago

How much is he paid for this? FFS!

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve George

How much did he pay N.C to print it !

R Brickman
R Brickman
1 year ago

A publicity and photo opportunity worthy of Alun Cairns!

1 year ago

Thats me convinced. We do we need devolution when we have someone who cares about clubs losing their footballs?

1 year ago

And preventative measures, like netting or just a empty photo opportunity for the Steve Bray hater

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