FEARS that a friendly football league has been scrapped over a lack of staffing have been allayed by Hambleton District Council.

The league is run from the floodlit pitch at Thirsk School on a "pay and play" basis whereby youngsters turn up, pay £1 and then compete for their chosen team.

The sessions take place on Monday and Friday evenings, attracting between 50 and 80 players at a time.

Last Monday, the youngsters turned up as usual to be told they could not play as there were too many to be supervised.

They feared it was the end of the league, but the council's facilities manager, Steven Lister, said that it will keep going "no matter what happens".

He has appealed for people to come forward to help run the league alongside regular staff, promising they will be trained and paid if necessary.

Mr Lister said: "This is something that we have developed over a period of time and we are very keen to develop it further.

"In order to do that, we need community support and additional volunteers would be very well received."

One of the possibilities being explored is to get sixth-formers from Thirsk School to help out.

If no volunteers come forward, sessions would have to have the numbers attending controlled.

Mr Lister said: "We would look at organising it so we would control the numbers, but that will be really difficult to do because they are going to turn up anyway.

"There is no way that it will be knocked on the head, no matter what happens."

The sessions will not take place next week, due to half-term, but they should be back by Monday, February 23.

Anyone interested in helping out can contact Thirsk Leisure Centre on (01845) 522447.