Newmark proposes minimum standards for football goalposts

May 13, 2009 at 4:59 pm Leave a comment

by Tony Grew

A Conservative MP has introduced a private member’s bill that aims to improve goalpost safety standards.

Brooks Newmark said the “beautiful game” has a devoted following “in all parts of the House.”

He began his speech with a tragic death.

“Eighteen years ago, an 11-year-old boy from my constituency, Jonathan Smith, was killed during an away game of the Whitham under-12s,” he said.

“Jonathan was swinging from the crossbar when the goalpost fell on him, ruptured his heart and left his family devastated.

“Since his death, Jonathan’s mother, Brenda Smith, who is here today watching the presentation of this Bill, has fought a tireless campaign to improve the safety of goalposts.”

“Mr Newmark said he was “wary” of imposing new rules and that his proposal was not “an example of health and safety gone mad.”

His bill would not target “professional football, or families having a kickabout in their back yard, and I am not out to ruin anyone’s fun.”

“The Bill will target in particular goalposts made before 1996—the year in which British standards were first produced for goalposts,” he said.

“Despite the introduction of those standards, the FA says that some schools still use, for example, wooden goalposts, which are not illegal, but which do pose a threat to the children using them.

“Other unsafe goalposts include those that are corroded, rusted or free-standing, or those with metal cuphooks on the posts of crossbars.

“In 2005, the FA identified approximately 15,000 goalposts that did not meet the BSI standard. The Football Foundation has, to date, offered 3,192 grants with a value of nearly £2 million.

“As the grants can be offered for multiple goalposts, they have enabled about one third of the unsafe goalposts identified to be replaced. That is an admirable achievement, but more can be done.

“I admit that I was surprised when I first became aware of the risk posed by unsafe goalposts.

“Since Jonathan’s death in 1991, at least 10 other children in the UK and many others worldwide have been killed by falling goalposts.

“Even more have been injured, suffering broken limbs, bruising and fractured skulls, often leaving permanent damage and disfiguring scars.

“Adults, too, have also been injured in the same way: I recently heard from the parents of another constituent who, 10 years ago, when she was in her mid-20s, had an unsecured goalpost land on her, causing severe injuries for which she is receiving treatment to this day.

“The Government have argued that enough has already been done and that a voluntary code will suffice.”

Mr Brooks said he hoped MPs would support his efforts to make minimum safety standards for goalposts mandatory by 2012.

The bill will have its Second Reading on Friday 16 October.


Entry filed under: Commons. Tags: , , , , , , .

MPs call for Competition Commission to investigate pub companies Equality Bill passes Commons second reading

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Follow us on Twitter!

May 2009
« Apr   Jun »

%d bloggers like this: