A SHEFFIELD sporting centre set up more than half a century has closed after hitting financial problems.
Gates to Firth Rixson Sports and Social Club, Bawtry Road, Tinsley have been locked by the site owners.
The centre was set up more than 50 years ago to cater for the Firth Rixson workforce, but over the years it has been used by sporting clubs for cricket, football and rugby.
The club’s management committee said the decision had been made ‘with regret’.
A statement said it would not be taking any further booking and those already taken were cancelled.
It added: “The Sports Club has operated for over 50 years and has provided a valuable service to those that have used the club over the years.
“Unfortunately, the club’s income has gradually declined and it has found itself in a position where it is unable to finance work that is required for the club to meet its legal obligations in order to continue to trade.”
The news comes as a blow to the 300 members of Rotherham Hockey Club who play on one of the centre’s pitches.
A spokesman said: “Finding a new home has proved to be a difficult task,
“Other than at Dinnington, there are no hockey suitable artificial pitches in the Rotherham Council area.
“The schools pitches are the football 3G surface and this makes them unsuitable for hockey and Dinnington isn’t available on Saturdays and Sundays.”
The cub is now considering moving to Sheffield.
The spokesman added: “Our belief is that, if Rotherham United could do it, then so can we.
“The closest suitable venues are at Ecclesfield School and at Westfield Sports College and we are fortunate there is availability at both.”