STRUGGLING Malmesbury Vics could end up with more cash in their bank account than they have had for years after crowds turned up in force to support an impromptu beer festival.

Early estimates put the profit from the three day beer, banger and burger event around the £4,000 mark. Just a few weeks ago the flood-hit club had nothing in its account to pay the bills and was near to closure.

Secretary Julie Exton said she didn’t think the club had ever had so much money. It took £9,000 during the weekend. “People just kept coming back day after day.”

A team of volunteers pulled the festival together and spent long hours manning the bar, serving food or providing music.

Around 400 people went through the gates each day. “I think it was lovely to have all the community out on a bank holiday. It was a lovely, friendly, very happy event. In a way we didn’t want it to stop.”

She said: “A lot of that money is probably going to have to go on a new boiler because we need showers. But it is getting us out of the woods.”

And with VicFest later this summer and the carnival after party, the club would be in a much healthier financial position at the start of the next season.

“We are all excited about the new season. We actually feel good about going forward, but we still need help.”

When the club does play its next matches in the Wiltshire league after dropping from the Hellenic league because of its financial problems, it will be with many of the reserves making up the new first team.

Jonathan Davies, who is one of two treasurers on the new committee, paid tribute to the volunteers who had rallied round to stage the festival. “The support from the town was fantastic and demonstrated how much everyone wants the Vics to succeed.

“It was great to see some councillors supporting the event as well and I am sure by all working together the Vics will go from strength to strength.”