A JUNIOR football team is pleading to be relegated having lost all eight matches conceding a staggering 85 goals.

Overthorpe United under-11s, based at Thornhill in Dewsbury, are being hammered every week.

The team has lost 19-0, 16-2, 15-2 and 9-0 so far and club officials fear the youngsters will be psychologically damaged.

Club spokesman Andrew Chatterton, whose son Max, 10, plays for the team, said: “The kids are getting annihilated and we need to go down a division to give them a fighting chance.

“If not we won’t have a team come the end of the season. It’s torture for them.”

The under-11s moved up from mini soccer, five or seven-a-side football, to nine-a-side this season.

They joined the Huddersfield & District Junior League and were allocated a place in Division 4 in the six-division league.

The team has taken a battering and Mr Chatterton said: “We need to go down a level because the kids are just getting demoralised. We talk about ‘safeguarding children’. We have a duty of care towards the kids.”

Overthorpe United, which play at the Community Science College at Thornhill, are at home again this weekend against Wibsey the team which thrashed them 16-2.

“We have to safeguard children’s emotions,” said Mr Chatterton. “I’m not sure how much more they can take.”

League secretary Mr Eric Kershaw said all new clubs were written to for an assessment of their team’s strength.

No response came from Overthorpe so they were allocated Division 4.

The bottom two divisions, 5A and 5B, are of a similar standard.

Mr Kershaw said it was possible to make changes to the divisional structure in the first three weeks but they were now 12 weeks in and a third of the season had gone.

It was “completely impractical” now and allowing Overthorpe to drop down would set a precedent which could lead to other clubs following suit.

Mr Kershaw added: “I have every sympathy for the club. Nobody wants to see anybody struggling but that’s the nature of competition. Someone will finish top and someone will finish bottom.”

The league has 750 teams and some 10,000 children.

Mr Kershaw said the club was welcome to put a proposal to a league committee meeting.


Wibsey 16 Overthorpe 2

Overthorpe 1 Woodkirk Valley 8

Hepworth 4 Overthorpe 0

Overthorpe 2 Elland 6

Overthorpe 1 Meltham 8

Overthorpe 2 East Bowling 15

Overthorpe 0 Howden Clough 19

East Bowling 9 Overthorpe 0

Overthorpe’s record: P8 W0 D0 L8 Goals For 8 Goals Against 85

Lucky escape after head-on smash in Birchencliffe (Gallery): Click here to read.