AN HISTORIC Central Fife junior football club that produced Scotland legend Jim Baxter has been forced to close its doors.

Committee members at Crossgates Primrose took the decision following a meeting last Thursday night where they decided that a lack of support off the pitch and resources to succeed on it meant that they could not take the club any further.

Earlier this year, then manager David McNeely and club secretary Kevan McArthur made a plea through Times Sport for more volunteers to join the committee or they would be forced into taking the decision that Primrose could no longer continue.

Despite initial success in gaining additional support which allowed them to start this season's East Region South Division, McArthur confirmed that a lack of willing volunteers to help behind the scenes and the resources to attract players were key factors in taking the decision.

Crossgates, whose last match was an 8-0 thrashing at Easthouses Lily, were bottom of the South Division - despite showing initial signs of promise under McNeely's replacement at the helm, Gary Herkes - but their results will now be expunged.

McArthur told Times Sport: "We have had to close the doors simply because we couldn't get the players or people on the committee. One or two did join, but it didn't last; I think once people realised how much work was involved, that was enough for them. For the last wee while, it has been just myself, my wife and David McNeely's wife on the committee and we were going back down the road of players wanting to leave because of our results.

"It is gutting for us all because when it was good, it was good, but Gary (Herkes) has a new job and commit as much time, and I'm just starting a new job as well. We also couldn't go on getting beat 8-0 and 6-1, so we thought it was better to close the doors."

He continued: "We do it all for free and the money side is a part of it too. To get on in this league, you need money - especially when you see teams like Tranent spending quite a bit to try and get out of it. We're coming up against teams who have money but we don't and we just don't have the players to compete. I've been speaking to some teams in West Lothian and they are struggling too, so we might not be the last.

"The one thing I can take from it is that we have created a large youth academy in the Crossgates Primrose name, which will continue as normal, that has 10 teams and given lots of kids the opportunity to play with a local club. Dunfermline Athletic Ladies will continue to use Humbug Park and while I hope there will be a junior club again in the future, that's it for the adult side."

Crossgates were originally formed in 1926 and reformed in 1983 after the original club folded in 1960. They are best known as the club who produced Baxter - who died in 2001 - who went on to star for Raith Rovers, Rangers and the national side.