Preparation for Pompey Legends v Rangers Legends in Portchester is disrupted after travellers arrive

A POMPEY Legends game will go ahead this weekend despite a travellers' camp causing disruption to preparations.

Thursday, 26th May 2016, 6:00 am
The travellers at Wicor Recreation Ground Picture: UKNIP

AFC Portchester is set to host up to 1,900 football fans at the Wicor Recreation Ground on Saturday as Pompey Legends take on a Rangers Legends team.

But the game was thrown into doubt yesterday after a group of about 20 caravans arrived at the site on Tuesday night following threats from police to remove them from Cams Hill Recreation Ground off Henry Cort Way where they had been for the previous four days.

The group arrived at the Wicor Recreation Ground that evening.

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Police had threatened to take action and were on the site yesterday morning and Fareham Borough Council officers were present as the convoy moved on from the site at around 1.30pm.

Paul Kelly, chairman of AFC Portchester said: ‘We can now breathe a sigh of relief.

‘We have a huge gate expected of about 1,900 people and now we can finally get on with the game.

‘I can confirm it’s 100 per cent back on.

‘The police and local authorities have been fantastic in getting them off the site. Full credit to them.’

Some witnesses claimed the group had broken a padlock to get on the site but a spokesman for Hampshire Constabulary said the group had used a railway sleeper to break in.

He said: ‘They did not break a padlock to get onto the site. We believe they used a railway sleeper.

‘Following the meetings with police and council officers, the travellers then left the site at around 1.30pm.

‘The site has been returned to normal.’

Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council said: ‘I am very pleased they have only managed to stay the one night.

‘We have really had a belly full of over the last month with travellers in Fareham.’

A woman who owns five horses at a house in Cranleigh Road was allowed by the football club to keep them in the confines of the stadium due to fears about the group of travellers.

Fareham Leisure Centre’s car park in Park Lane and Stubbington Recreation Ground in Bells Lane was used by the group over the last week.

Another group were also camped in fields off Shearwater Avenue but also left yesterday.

The council is to review its security of its land in light of the incidents.

A statement from the council said: ‘We will review our security to see if it can be improved without impacting the accessibility of the open space for our residents.’