Lanark United's Moor Park stands wrecked by Storm Arwen: Plans announced for fans to watch next United game sitting pitchside in their cars

Suspected wind gusts of around 80mph at the hands of Storm Arwen wreaked destruction at Lanark United’s Moor Park Stadium at the weekend, causing United’s scheduled home league game against Ardrossan Winton Rovers to be postponed.
Some of the destruction left behind at Moor Park in the aftermath of Storm Arwen (Pic by George Reid)Some of the destruction left behind at Moor Park in the aftermath of Storm Arwen (Pic by George Reid)
Some of the destruction left behind at Moor Park in the aftermath of Storm Arwen (Pic by George Reid)

United president George Reid arrived at the ground on 8am on Saturday to find its two stands had been blown several feet through the air and onto ground at the front of the stadium.

United co boss Simon Eeles said: “When the storm has blown across the park, the pressure of it has actually ripped two concrete stone beams that were holding the stands, snapping them in two.

"You think: ‘How is it actually possible for that to happen?’

"That’s been standing there since 1948 so it’s been up a long time. It’s just incredible.

"As we came into the ground, the full stand was just lying on a grass verge at the front.”

Eeles, committee members and fans gathered at Moor Park on Saturday to do whatever they could to clear up the debris over several hours.

"We were trying to get the place safe first and foremost,” Eeles said. “And try and tidy up the mess that the storm had made.

"It was unbelievable. I just couldn’t actually believe it when I turned up to see how much damage had been done.

"Some people came down with machinery. The stand was cut down into smaller pieces so we could lift it and move it over to the side, so somebody could come and collect it.

"It was an unbelievable effort from everybody that was there. We’ve actually got the place safe enough to host the next game.”

Lanark president Reid added: “My brain has been spinning trying to take in what’s happened. I can’t believe it.

"The big stand landed in the car park as you come in the gate.

"We have now taken it away to open up the car park so it’s not in anybody’s road and try and clean the site up.

"The roof of the smaller blue stand went back the way and you couldn’t get the pavilion door open.

"The roof of the stand was resting against the roof of the pavilion.

"It was concrete lampposts that held the floodlights that we had. The floodlight pylon has bent back nearly to a 45 degree angle and that’s held the roof.

"If that pylon hadn’t been there the roof from the blue stand would certainly have gone though the roof of the dressing rooms.

"And we wouldn’t be talking about whether we were playing on December 18.

"We’d be talking about where we were going to play our remaining fixtures this season because it would have wiped the dressing rooms out.

"We were inches from a complete disaster.

"Making sure the surrounding area is safe to play the game is our priority. Our next home fixture is Saturday, December 18 against Neilston.

"Unfortunately it looks as if there will be no cover for supporters but there is plenty space in the ground for older people to sit in their car and they’ll still see the game. It’s like drive in movie football.”

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Reid added: “You can rebuild the stadium, but you’ll never build the character of that place, you can’t capture it.

"See when you’re down the back picking up a ball at the far side at a midweek game on a nice sunny Wednesday night and you look across at our wee ground with the sunshine and Tinto you’re going: ‘What a character this place has got’.

"We want to try and keep a bit of character about the place. It’s a massive loss to the club.”

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