A HAMPSHIRE Cricket Club is urgently appealing for donations, after the coronavirus left it facing "financial difficulty or worse".

The Folland Cricket Club in Hamble has been facing financial problems since the government restrictions to combat coronavirus were put in place, meaning all recreational and professional cricket has been suspended.

While April should have seen substantial income generated for the club from members subscriptions as well as match fees from each player, the club is now facing no income at all for the forseeable future which they "cannot sustain without support".

Now, senior members of the club have launched an appeal, asking for donations to help stop the "devastating loss" of the community club, and so far more than £800 has been raised.

Liam Manning, captain of the club's second team, said: "Due to COVID-19 we are facing no income at all for the forseeable future which we cannot sustain without support.

"We were already facing a financial impact as a result of Storm Ciara/ Dennis destroying some of our training and match facilities (our training net and sight screens) beyond repair, and now facing no income having already paid maintenance, insurances and standard running costs in anticipation of the season ahead, the club would not be in a position to see next season without support and fundraising.

"It is incredibly important to me as I have loved and played cricket for the majority of my life. I felt welcomed immediately when I first approached the club to play cricket when I moved to Hamble, and have done ever since. Cricket is an integral part of our members lives, for the exercise, the competition and the social side, as well as the benefit to the Hamble community of having a cricket club for future generations to play and watch cricket."

"While there are bigger priorities of health and safety currently, it would be truly devastating for Hamble to lose it’s only cricket club, and for our members, community and future to have no club to return to once life returns to a sense of normality."

Club Treasurer, Terry Gover, added: "The Present circumstances of members not playing and not being able to socialise is unprecedented during my association and the thought of ‘my club’ like many, facing the possibility of having to ‘call it a day’ is unthinkable. I am grateful for all the support we have received from the villagers and members and pray that the club will continue for many years."

To donate and help stop the Folland Cricket Club from closing, visit: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/follandhamblecc.