A FORMER school playing field that was saved for public use last year will finally become the home of three Darwen football teams.

The Square Meadow, behind the former Darwen Moorland High School, was last year saved from any future development after it emerged it did not actually belong to the old school, set to be sold if Government consent is given.

Since then, Dandy Row resident Harry Blackwell has set up the Friends of Square Meadow group and work, including a council-organised Your Call clean-up day, has been going on to bring it back into use.

Now, Ian Cordingley, chairman of Darwen Rangers Junior Football Club, said the club had joined forces with Darwen Spartans and New Gardeners football clubs to share the pitch, as well as the neighbouring former school pitches.

Mr Cordingley said: “All three clubs are working together with the Friends of Square Meadow in improving and making both areas fit to accommodate matches in the 2014/15 season.”

Friends of Square Meadow chairman Harry Blackwell said: “This is the first time the field has been brought into community use which is important.

“I am very pleased this is happening as I have been campaigning for it for a long while.

“This was what it was all about for me, stopping the field being built on and making it available to the community.” As part of the partnership, a 10-week course will begin on Saturday with children from primary schools across Darwen invited for coaching.

After the course, for which 140 pupils have already registered an interest, youngsters will then be able to choose which team they want to play for.

There will also be coaching sessions for young coaches, parents and students wishing to improve their coaching skills.

For details, call Mr Cordingley on 01254 725185 or email him on cordingleyian@hotmail.com.