£45k for Rugby Club fence to keep out dog walkers

21st Mar 2016

Thousands of pounds have been donated to a rugby club to build a fence after a player lost his leg because of dog mess.Rugby hopeful Collin Smith was 15 when he lost his leg after his sporting injury became infected from the faeces.Now, Gilfach Goch Rugby Club, near Pontypridd, has been donated £45,000 to stop dogs “causing havoc”.

Pant-y-Wal Extension

Darren Hughes, club secretary at Gilfach Goch RFC, said: “Dog mess has become such a poignant issue after what happened to Collin, he is a local boy"“Sadly, dog owners still disregard the fact that the pitch is a place for adults and kids to play"“A fence will remind people that this is a place just for sports.”Collin, now 51, from Rhondda, had been selected for the Wales Under-15 team and was captain of his youth side but during a school match he fractured his leg – a routine injury made life-threatening because of dog’s mess.Within 24 hours, his leg had been amputated and he realised he would never play rugby again.The club, which has been running from its ground at Welfare Park for the past 126 years, has received the funds from local energy company Pennant Walters.The fence will also help keep out roaming sheep from nearby farmland, the club said.They will also use the funds to pay for new sports kits and a viewing platform for disabled people.Darren said: “We are in a small area of the Rhondda but we have over 400 members – the club is a real community facility"“This money has been a lifeline and we are delighted that it has allowed us to make long-term improvements to our facilities – something that will benefit players and spectators for years to come"“We can’t thank Pennant Walters enough and we hope it stands us in good stead for the remainder of the season.”Pennant Walters managing director Dale Hart said: “We are delighted to have been able to help them better their facilities"“Community facilities can often face a hard task of making improvements for the long-term benefit due to funding issues and we are happy to have been able to help. We wish everyone involved with Gilfach Goch RFC the very best for the season.”Pennant Walters operates two wind farms at Gilfach Goch and Blackmill, near Tonyrefail.