THE days of putting down jumpers for goal posts are over for football-mad youngsters at a village primary school.

Players at Esh Laude RC Primary School, in Esh, near Durham, were yesterday using new goals mounted at the village playing field.

The youngsters, whose football allegiances are mostly split between Sunderland and Newcastle, have their parish council to thank for the new equipment.

Esh Parish Council maintains the field, at Hill Crest, which is used by the school.

Parish clerk Mike Ackroyd said the field had an old set of goal posts which had "seen better days" when it was decided they ought to be taken down.

He said: "They were long beyond their useful life, so we have been left with a field and no goalposts or nets for the last three years or so.

"We have managed to come up with the funding to buy a new set of goal posts and nets, and we have had the grass trimmed and the pitch marked out, so it is all ready for the new season for the school players."

The revamped pitch was opened yesterday by parish chairman Alan Mollon and Micky Shead, of the nearby Deerness Valley Football in the Community scheme, which is backed by Sunderland AFC.

Joining them on the pitch were pupils from Esh Laude school.