Young football fanatic Daniel Watts has tackled a longstanding problem at his local recreation ground head-on, scoring a goal for him and his friends.

The 11-year-old pupil of Chippenham’s Hardenhuish School has seen many of his favourite footballs ruined because the goalposts at the rec in his home village of Gastard did not have any netting.

Fed-up with balls regularly ending up in hedges and, occasionally on the road, when a goal was scored, the tough-tackling centre back, who plays for AFC Corsham, decided enough was enough and contacted Corsham Town Council.

Dan, Chippenham Town and Arsenal fan, said: “My grandpa bought me a ball and it burst when it went through the goal and landed in the hedges. So, I saw a number for Corsham Town Council and rang them asking for some nets to be put in.

“I see Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen as a bit of a role model and I have his anger on the pitch. But I didn’t need to get angry with the town council as they were really helpful. “I’m very happy because I have never really done anything like this before and it is something that was easily sorted. “It will be a big benefit to other young players in Gastard.”

Dan, who also has a soft spot for Swindon Town and lists John Bostock as his favourite player, lives in Gastard with his dad Paul, mother Cynthia and sister Lois, 15.

Mr Watts, who is a service support manager with Octavian, said: “As far as I know there haven’t been any nets in those goalposts for around 40 years so I’m really proud Daniel took it upon himself to contact the council and make a difference.

“He has shown true initiative and the nets will benefit a lot of people. “I drove past the other day and I saw people using them so they are already proving popular.”

Last week, Corsham Town Council put up the nets, which cost around £50, and were pleased to help Dan and his friends.

Maxine Jones, the council’s administration officer, said: “About a month ago we had a call from a very polite and a very confident young lad who asked for nets to be installed at his local fields. “We hope he enjoys using them with his friends.”