South West Bedfordshire MP Andrew Selous hailed the tireless work of volunteers at Leighton Town FC after a recent visit to the club.

Mr Selous was in attendance at Bell Close last Saturday to take in the Reds' thrilling 3-2 victory over Pitching In Southern League Division One Central rivals Hertford Town.

Leighton are enjoying a strong first season back in the eighth tier after romping to promotion last year, with a late push for the play-offs not out of the question as the season heads towards the business end.

And Mr Selous, who got his hands dirty helping out behind the scenes, was full of praise for the work done off the pitch to help support the club’s big ambitions on it, with volunteers also running a number of community activities alongside first-team operations.

He said “I greatly enjoyed my visit and am in awe of everything that Leighton Town Football Club due for the community. 

“To run 50 teams in the town and support mental health in the way the club do is amazing, especially as the club needs to raise all its own income."

Leighton Town are one of hundreds of non-League clubs up and down the country who rely heavily on volunteers, with the club keen for more support on increasingly busy match days.

League title sponsors Pitching In have made it easier than ever for clubs to recruit through its Volunteer Hub, an online portal that aims to connect football fans and potential volunteers to their local club.

The Volunteer Hub is one part of the landmark, multi-million pound investment made by Pitching In into grassroots football, with further funding distributed throughout the pyramid through its Trident Community Foundation, which seeks to support non-capital projects such as walking football teams.

It is an investment felt first-hand by Leighton Town, with club secretary and vice chairman Sean Downey full of praise for the extra funding available for clubs lower down the pyramid but at the heart of their communities.

He said: “It was a pleasure to host our local MP, Andrew Selous, as well as a representative from our League sponsors Pitching In, on Saturday for our home game against Hertford Town FC. 

“Andrew was able to meet a number of volunteers and sample the vibrant match day atmosphere at Bell Close, as well as hear about the club’s strong relationship with the local community. 

“He was delighted to hear that in partnership with Leighton Woodside the club provides football for over 50 teams from U7s through to the semi-professional first team. 

“This includes a growing provision for girls, disabled children and a new women’s team that will begin competitive league football next season. 

“Andrew was keen to praise the role played by the huge number of volunteers that make all this possible, particularly the hard working coaches and committee who devote huge amounts of time to ensure that the club continues to thrive.”