A junior football club in Chester is fundraising after having to spend more than £4,000 to rid their pitches of a bug infestation.

Last month, Saughall Colts JFC - which was founded in 1984 and has more than 200 junior players from age 4-17, based at its own dedicated playing fields in Saughall - last month discovered the dreaded Welsh chafer grub, which is any sports club’s worst nightmare.

Saughall Colts brave the cold to raise funds for kit

The grubs hatch from chafer beetle larvae laid in midsummer and grow large enough to eat the grassroots but the real damage comes from foxes, badgers and birds tearing up the loose turf to eat the grubs.

After the EU banned the use of chemical pesticides to tackle the problem, the only solution is the use of nematodes (microscopic parasite worms) that infect the grubs and kill them and the future breeding lifecycle.

Members of the Saughall Colts u11s team

With no choice but to keep their 20 teams playing football, the club decided to use all its emergency funds and pay the £4,300 to treat them. Without this treatment, the pitches would become unplayable in less than six weeks.

Fundraising officer at the club, Chris Collins, and under-9s team manager Chris Aldcroft said: “Whilst it’s great to have our own facilities, the obvious downside is the cost of maintenance and large unexpected outlays such as this which will take us a while to financially recover from.”

To help towards the cost the club has set up a Virgin Money Giving page, if you would like to donate you can do so here.