Herald Opinion: Come on football fans - get behind Borough

HOWEVER ugly or unpopular a building may be, there are always those who will lament its passing. And even more so when the building has been a place of worship for many people over many years.

But surely the right decision has been reached in rejecting a bid to turn the dilapidated St Elisabeth’s church in Victoria Drive into flats and penthouses.

Planning officers and architects had worked hard to make something of a structure once allegedly described by Winston Churchill as looking like a wartime armaments factory.

We shouldn’t throw away our architectural heritage lightly and there are undoubtedly worse blots on our landscape.

But given the strength of local feeling and the prominence of this site, it’s better to cut our losses now and look to make this a new landmark site. St Elisabeth’s deserves a place in Eastbourne’s history books but let it be remembered with some fondness rather than ridicule.

FOR years Eastbourne yearned for a football team that was head and shoulders above the rest, one that could represent the town on a national basis. Those were the days when our senior clubs – United, Town and Langney Sports – competed in the county league before, at best, a couple of hundred spectators each week.

From a parks team to the county league and four promotions later to the Conference national, Langney Sports - now Eastbourne Borough – are just one step below the Football League itself. The climb has been nothing short of phenomenal.

But as a part-time club competing in the main against full-time opponents, Borough are again facing difficult days. Attendance is falling, injuries mounting and the club has dropped into the relegation zone.

If it is to survive at this level, more revenue through the turnstiles and more support from local business are necessities. Three years ago, in its first season at the top of the non-league tree, gates were significantly higher than they are today.

What a crying shame it would be if all the effort should be wasted through lack of support. Come on football fans. Get behind Borough, starting tomorrow. Otherwise, ambitions of full-time football will remain a mere pipedream and we will be back to where we were more than a decade ago.

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