PATIENT footballers at South Newton & Wishford FC have been rewarded with first prize in a nationwide competition after losing many home matches to torrential rain.

The under 13s, soon to be under 14s, were unable to play for about four months as their Stoford Recreation Ground was underwater.

But, after entering The Pitch to Win competition, which recognises the worst amateur football pitch in the UK, they scooped first prize.

At a presentation evening on Wednesday night, the winning team received a cheque for £3,000 towards a pitch makeover and a brand new kit which competition organiser Briggs and Stratton will sponsor.

“Everyone in the team was delighted when they found they had won, they were so proud their efforts had gone so far,” said assistant coach Paul Russell, whose team were forced to train inside during the wet weather.

“We never thought we could win as hundreds of clubs entered.”

Mr Russell’s son Harry, who plays for the under 13s, entered his team in the competition after seeing it advertised in a popular football magazine.

They entered and submitted a picture of the team in a flood proof kit – players dressed in diving gear and holding surfboards.

Now, the financial boost will allow them to continue the “big plans” it has for next season.

Mr Russell added: “We made a fantastic start to the season but after missing so many games to the weather, it petered out.”

“We want to make the most of this money now and start planning for the 2014/15 season. We’ve got big plans ahead.”

Sales and marketing manager at Briggs and Stratton Ian Small said: “Amateur football can be the heart of a community, and South Newton and Wishford really reminded us of that. They’ve had such a tough season because of their pitch so it’s great to be able to help them out. They really are very deserving and I hope the pitch makeover helps them be victorious in the future.”

Two runner-up teams were also chosen, who will each win £500 for the club kitty as well as a season’s sponsorship and a brand new kit.

South Newton are looking for more players and anyone interested in playing should visit