Bollard blocking entry to Kirkintilloch park labelled a health hazard

The bollard at the entrance to Whitegates Park
The bollard at the entrance to Whitegates Park

A footballer with a broken arm was left writhing in pain for 20 minutes as paramedics negotiated a bollard blocking access to the pitch.

Emergency services were called to Whitegates Pitch on Saturday, October 12, after a bad fall left the player in agony - with his arm broken in two place below the elbow.

The horror injury happened while he was playing football for the Kirkintilloch Miners FC team.

An ambulance arrived after just five minutes, but paramedics were left scratching their heads after finding the road to the pitch blocked by a collapsible bollard.

Team staff had already raced to the nearby Kirkintilloch Leisure Centre to try and find a key to remove the bollard – but insist they had no luck.

A call to East Dunbartonshire Council – which rents the pitch to the team – also apparently failed to produce any results.

The ambulance staff were forced to leave their vehicle at the entrance to the park and haul their equipment and a stretcher to the injured player.

It took over 20 minutes for them to successfully move the injured man from the pitch and set off to hospital.

Club secretary Jamie McDade said: “We just couldn’t believe that there was no key anywhere. The council should really have a plan in place for when something like this happens.

“If it had been a player having a heart attack the delay could have cost a life.

“The park is also used regularly by dog walkers so I don’t know what would happen if one of them fell ill and needed emergency treatment.

“The council are really going to have to do something about this immediately – they have a responsibility to the people they hire the pitches out to.”

The young player needed emergency surgery on his arm but it is hoped he will make a full recovery in due course and will return to football.

Mark Grant, general manager of East Dunbartonshire Leisure Trust, said the trust would take action to avoid a repeat of the situation but insisted staff at Kirkintilloch Leisure Centre DID have access to a key for the bollard.

He explained to the Herald: “A key for the gate is held at the sports centre.

“On Saturday we have no record of staff being approached for the key.

“We will be writing to all teams that use Whitegates Park reminding them, that the key for the gate is available at the centre reception.”