Roadwork cash helps team

Layton Juniors FC have received kit money from Stephen Pierre, the owner of The Galleon Bar.
Layton Juniors FC have received kit money from Stephen Pierre, the owner of The Galleon Bar.
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A generous landlord has donated hundreds of pounds to a struggling football team after he was awarded compensation from a water giant.

Stephen Pierre, owner of The Galleon Bar, received £500 from United Utilities more than two years after he claimed their roadworks affected his Blackpool business.

The four-day operation, in March 2011, came at a time when Mr Pierre was launching a new beer and coffee deal at the Abingdon Street bar, and says the work came at a cost of £5,000 to him.

And after receiving his settlement, Mr Pierre, a long-standing supporter of Layton Juniors FC, handed over his cash to the club in order for them to buy new kit. He has also agreed to sponsor them during the coming season.

He said: “This belated case proves beyond doubt that the ordinary man in the street should not feel intimidated or afraid to stand up to the big organisations if you feel you have a fair and legitimate case to put forward.

“The goodwill settlement realistically falls short of any gross profits we suffered during the roadworks, however those profit loss figures would have been purely considered speculative.

“Donating this money gives a nice happy ending to it all.

“I was brought up in Layton and had a very good upbringing, but some of the players are less privileged than others in the league, so I’m proud to give them help along the way.”

Layton Juniors coach Stuart Wilson, 41, said: “It’s so hard to get a sponsor and a lot of the clubs in Blackpool ask for money up front from the parents, but Stephen wanted to put some money back into the community.

“The money is very important for the youngsters because the training equipment we use is very dear and he has stepped forward to give us the money.

“This gives kids a chance and I can’t speak more highly of him.

“He’s been like this for years and is the kind of person who would give you the last pound in his pocket.”

Memories come flooding back...

The Gazette first covered the story of Mr Pierre’s fight against United Utilities in March 2011 when he claimed his new business was losing £5,000 from the work outside his bar.

Drills, lorries and workmen closed down Abingdon Street to carry out emergency repair work after a water main burst.

Mr Pierre said the work left the bar running out of alcohol because of the time taken to complete the repairs.

Mr Pierre said: “It took a while but we got there in the end and it’s amicable and United Utilities accepted a payment was due to us.”

A spokesman from United Utilities said: “Blackpool’s sewer network is a 24-hour operation which occasionally requires us to carry out emergency repairs to protect services to the public and prevent premises from flooding.

“We had to implement a road closure at short notice which affected deliveries.”

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