18:12 Wednesday 29 January 2014

Metal detector man digs up footie pitch

Written byROB SMYTH

A MYSTERIOUS metal detectorist has been warned to keep away from a South Derbyshire village – after digging holes in a community football pitch in the search for treasure.

Overseal Parish Council chiefs have issued a warning to the man, who has been talked to about his actions on previous occasions, after he was spotted around the site recently.

Community leaders want to make sure his disruptive digging is stopped.

The incidents have been taking place on the football pitch located next to Overseal Village Hall, in Woodville Road, which hosts games for three teams, including a Gresley FC youth squad.

John White, clerk to the council, said: “It is concerning to hear that this mystery man may have returned to metal detect on the land.

“This was an issue around two or three months ago, but we thought it had been solved.

“A man was spotted by parish councillor Mark Knight metal detecting on the football pitch and digging several holes.

“He was given a telling-off at the time and told not to do it again.

“We had to fill the holes in, but some matches had to be postponed until we knew that surface was okay to play on once again.

“We have three teams who use the playing surface, including a Gresley FC youth team.

“The thing that worries us is that a striker only has to be in on goal and his foot drops down one the holes – who knows what kind of damage it could do?

“We would urge anyone who is doing this, or who has done it, to not do it on the football pitch.

“It could cause no end of issues and we would urge anyone who spots people metal detecting and digging up the area to get in contact with a member of the parish council.”

Anyone who catches the mystery digger in the act in Overseal is urged to either call Mr White on 01530 415289 or email clerk@overseal.org

The mysterious man may have been hoping to strike it lucky and find hidden treasures due to the fact South Derbyshire has a long history of prize finds.

Sise in Repton, Etwall and Ticknall have, in the past, seen medieval coins unearthed, as well as English Civil War silver coins and an array of Roman artefacts.

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