A FOOTBALL club has cancelled a draw to win a brand new car after one person submitted 2,001 free entries.

Frome Town has pledged to return cash to participants who paid to enter the competition to win a SsangYong Tivoli supplied by Platinum Motors.

People could either make a £5 donation to the club or local food banks or enter for free by sending in a postcard.

More than 450 people paid to take part, but around 100 people from outside the area sent in postcards before last weekend.

But club officials decided to pull the plug after a local man left a box containing 2,001 free postcard entries ahead of Saturday's match against Slimbridge.

A Frome Town spokesperson said: "All from just one man, and worse, a local Frome man - followed by a proud e-mail from the same person detailing and documenting his actions.

"In this e-mail he also requested that he be kept in the loop and wanting photographic proof of the draw, insinuating that foul play may occur during the draw, whilst claiming effectively £10,000 worth of free entries to the competition.

"The prize draw was now dead."

The spokesperson added: "We’re not shy to say that sometimes we will try to do something new, something different, something to help our club generate funds, whilst looking to reward our supporters and the community.

"When we set out on this adventure with Platinum Motors and Fair Frome, we knew it would be a tough ask, but the hope was to reward someone with the real chance of winning a brand new car. All for the chance of donating £5 to our club and our local food banks.

"We’ve seen so much effort from members of the club, staff, players, our supporters club and Platinum Motors into trying to make this work.

"We’ve seen over 450 people pledge donations either through the Crowdfunder site, directly by purchasing tickets at the match or through family and friends. We would like to thank you all for your amazing efforts and generosity."

Officials believed the draw could raise enough to cover the costs of the car and raise extra cash for the club.

The spokesperson said: "We believed this was achievable and that we would be able to attract more people by offering tickets via an online platform to reach our target and more people in Frome.

"After an impressive start, we became aware of a problem that we didn’t realise would become the eventual last act of this adventure.

"The more experienced prize draw entrants will know that you need to offer a ‘free way’ of entering to align to the legal requirements, which is typically sending in a postcard to a named address.

"We didn’t really consider that people would be so keen to just win that they were willing to look well beyond the reasons for our campaign, so much so that some individuals we’re willing to write e-mails to the club asking if they could enter for free via e-mail.

"We appreciate times have been difficult, but we knew something was wrong, we had lost the community spirit and engagement around the draw, that was so prevalent in our previous year’s campaign. We had become a faceless online competition to far too many people."

They added: "We had set out to do something that we hoped would help the club, our food banks and give everyone in the community a bit of excitement whilst changing someone’s life by awarding them a fantastic prize. But we’ve been a little too trusting and maybe a little naive.

"In the interest of transparency, we and Platinum Motors have both lost money through the campaign being incomplete."

More than 100 people who paid to enter the draw have contacted the club to say they will not be claiming a refund.