Page last updated at 17:02 GMT, Friday, 29 January 2010

Priest blesses 'unlucky' Marine FC's football pitch

Marine FC's Arriva stadium courtesy of Marine FC
Marine have lost their past five games

A struggling football club has resorted to asking a priest to bless its pitch in a bid to stop a run of bad luck.

So far this season three Marine FC players have hobbled off the pitch with broken bones.

And during a game which Marine were winning 2-1 at their stadium in Crosby, Merseyside, the floodlights died - cancelling the match.

Father John Ealey, of St Aloysius in Roby, said a prayer and poured holy water on the turf on Tuesday.

His services were called for by the team's manager Kevin Lynch, who has seen his side lose the past five games.

Our centre half Joe McMahon was involved in a car crash last night and is suffering from whiplash
Chairman Paul Leary

Chairman Paul Leary said if it took banishing demons to improve their season, he was willing to give it a go.

Marine, who are floundering in the bottom half of the Premier Division of the Unibond League, were also involved in a betting inquiry which resulted in four players being banned by the Football Association.

Mr Leary said: "We have had an awful run of luck and I just feel sorry for Kevin as he's our new manager.

"Lee Parle, one of our midfielders, his injuries were so bad he broke both the fibia and tibia.

"To make matters worse, our centre half Joe McMahon was involved in a car crash last night and is suffering from whiplash."

It is hoped he will recover in time for Tuesday when Marine are due to play their first home game since the pitch was blessed.

"Let's just hope Father Ealey can bring a change of fortune," Mr Leary added.



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