TRAVELLERS due to be evicted from land beside the Weston Homes Community Stadium have moved onto non-league club football pitches and warned they will stay as long as they can.

Six caravans arrived on the Gas Recreation Ground, off Bromley Road, in Colchester, early this morning. 

One family, who arrived separately from Maidstone, in Kent, told The Gazette today: “We’ll stay here as long as we can - until we’re kicked off really.”

Mark Ennew, Gas Rec FC club chairman, has warned the travellers could cause thousands of pounds worth of damage, which would delay the club’s start to the pre-season.

He said: “We have just spent three months doing the pitches up to make them respectable for the start of the season.

“This could cost us thousands of pounds, just like last time.”

Two years ago, travellers pitched up on the rec ground, which has two pitches, for more than two months because no eviction order was made by the landowner.

Club bosses say they had to pay £2,500 to fix large holes in the pitch and to surrounding trees in 2012.

The club is due to play its first pre-season friendly on Saturday, but it is unlikely the travellers will have moved on by then.