A PROFESSIONAL footballer, Football Association coach and Largs Thistle legend have all given the red card to a controversial repaired football surface in Millport.

Scottish Cup winner Chris Millar, who currently plays in midfield for Greenock Morton, couldn't believe the 'patchwork' state of the pitch after he was shown photos of the playing surface while at an FA training conference south of the border.

Largs Thistle Scottish Cup legend and News columnist George Wall showed the images to Chris as he felt the surface was 'shocking' - and Ton favourite Millar described it as a 'disgrace' and an 'injury risk'.

Millar said: "Going by the pictures, the astroturf doesn’t look fit for purpose to me.

"It actually looks as if there are edges sticking out of the new areas which will not allow for a true surface to play football on.

"More importantly there is a concern for injury given the uneven surface.

"It’s a disgrace."

A football match had been set to be played in Millport on Monday evening to raise the profile of the row over the patched up astroturf pitch at the Garrison grounds - but was cancelled at short notice.

Island correspondent Mary Currie said: "The guys who meet on a Monday night at the astroturf in Millport had organised the match for all the kids at the West Bay football pitch to highlight the state of the pitch, recently repaired by North Ayrshire Council."

The match was organised by Ross Newton after a suggestion by Mary, who along with her grandson Jordan started a campaign to get the popular astro repaired.

After parents and grandparents cried foul last month, a spokesperson for North Ayrshire Council defended the park.

They said: “Like all astroturf repair works of this nature, the surface will benefit from both use and weathering in. The more it’s played on, the better it will get.

“As the repairs are still fresh, having only been carried out last month. However, following an inspection, we are satisfied that the pitch is fully playable.

“We would advise the kids to continue playing on the pitch and hopefully their usage will help resolve any issues they are experiencing.”

But local gran Mary hit back, saying: "The turf they have repaired the holes with is just not suitable. It will take years for it to flatten down to the same level as the original surface.

"I think the main feeling among the kids who started the campaign to get the repairs done is just sheer disappointment."

Largs Thistle legend George also passed the photo on to Mark Phillips, currently the National Goalkeeping Scout for the FA under 18-21 teams, a man with a wealth of coaching experience at all levels of football in the UK

Mark said: "Looking at the state of the pitch, not only does it not match the existing astro, but it looks very raised.

"I would think that this could lead to a health and safety issue due to players either tripping over or losing their balance when hitting a different textured surface."