A FOOTBALL coach is hoping to use his artistic talents to help raise money following a ‘devastating’ fire at his club.

Avid artist John Gunther, from Flint, designed a piece to go up for grabs after funds were needed after a fire ripped through a portacabin at Prestatyn Town FC.

Our sister title, the Rhyl Journal, reported that North Wales Fire and Rescue Service sent crews to Bastion Gardens on April 1 just before 10.30am.

The result of the blaze left the cabin completely gutted in an act of arson.

Born-and-bred Flint lad John recently began coaching at the club’s academy where his young son plays and wanted to do something to help out.

He created the artwork for the club with plans to organise a raffle or put it up for auction.

The dad-of-two told how he came to design the piece.

He said: “We’ve been trying to come up with ideas as a club to help raise money, its not been easy with COVID. I thought that, because I have done a few drawings over the past year on commission or for families as Christmas presents so I wanted to do something like that to help out here.

“I decided to pull together a load of old players from back when they won the cup in 2013 and make it into one picture of a positive time for the club. I’m sure some fans will look back and remember that day well.”

John added that he was helped with inspiration photos provided by John Pickles, a matchday photographer who covered the Prestatyn Town FC team when they claimed the Welsh Cup.

“Even if it raised something like £20, its something at the end of the day and covers a cost that none of us were expecting,” adds John.

He says that the club has suffered with vandalism in the past but they hope to overcome this and become a “community pillar”.

John previously told the Leader how he has always had a love of drawing since childhood, adding that it has always been a dream of his to illustrate children’s books.

Andrew Ruscoe, general manager for Prestatyn Town FC, shared his appreciation for John’s gesture.

He said: “John has been a fantastic asset since joining the club & our club are really overwhelmed by the sheer act of kindness that John has provided with his amazing artwork to help raise much needed funds to replace what we lost in the awful fire that struck our club.

“The fire literally destroyed our academy port-a-cabin, samba goals, a set of balls, table, chair and some cones but the community have really got behind us to lighten the disappointment we have experienced recently and shown a true community spirit all in aid of the children in the community that our club continues to support.

“As a club we can't thank everyone for their brilliant support."

Plans have yet to be finalised for a raffle or auction. For further updates, follow Prestatyn Town FC on social media.