The husband and wife team behind Malmesbury Vics Football Club are smiling for the first time this year after the community turned out in force to back a fundraising event.
Chairman Phil Exton and his wife and club secretary Julie were on the brink of giving up on their beloved club after a series of financial problems caused by flooding earlier this year.
But on Friday, Saturday and Sunday people turned out in force to support a beer and sausage festival at the Flying Monk ground and helped put around £4,000 in the club’s bank account.
Mrs Exton, 50, said: “The whole community came out to support us and show they really care about the club.
“In past months we have been in terrible financial trouble and we have not been able to pay our direct debits but now at last we can afford to pay our bills and we may even be able to repair the showers, so the players next season can have hot water.
“I have a smile on my face for the first time in a long while. We live and breathe the football club but it has been very hard and at times we have wondered if we could go on, but we were determined to do everything we could to make sure the club survives.
“But now we are feeling much more positive about everything and next season will be a new beginning for us.”
The club’s first team has resigned from the Hellenic League and from next season will play in the Wiltshire League. The club will also field a reserve side, a youth team and a ladies’ team.
Mrs Exton said: “It will be much cheaper and give us a chance to re-group and then decide what league we want to aim for.”
The three-day festival was organised in three weeks after Martin Bridge, the ex-landlord of The Smoking Dog, offered to help.
Mrs Exton said: “We had to do everything very quickly but it all worked out. We had a fun fair, live music and face painting as well as beer, sausages and burgers.”
Fundraising will continue in coming weeks with the Vic Fest music festival on July 4 and 5 and an official carnival dance will be held on August 30.