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'Mindless idiots' behind club's reason to remove town's goalposts

Jack and Sue Cassidy founded Dereham Saints two years ago with just 18 players. Picture: Dan Bennett

Jack and Sue Cassidy founded Dereham Saints two years ago with just 18 players. Picture: Dan Bennett

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Two sets of goalposts gifted to young people to use in a mid-Norfolk town have been removed after being targeted by vandals.

Two sets of goalposts gifted to young people to use in Dereham have been removed after being targeted by vandals at Toftwood rec. Picture: SUE CASSIDY.
Two sets of goalposts gifted to young people to use in Dereham have been removed after being targeted by vandals at Toftwood rec. Picture: SUE CASSIDY.

The sports equipment, based on Toftwood Recreation Ground, is regularly used by the youth football team Dereham Saints Football Club.

Its founders, Jack Cassidy and wife Sue, said it was agreed between Dereham Town Council and the club to leave the equipment out for all children in the area to use.

But now the goalposts have been removed after being damaged just two days after essential repairs to them were carried out.

Two sets of goalposts gifted to young people to use in Dereham have been removed after being targeted by vandals at Toftwood rec. Picture: SUE CASSIDY.
Two sets of goalposts gifted to young people to use in Dereham have been removed after being targeted by vandals at Toftwood rec. Picture: SUE CASSIDY.

READ MORE: Youth football club needs funding to help with rising costs

Mrs Cassidy said: "Dereham Saints and the town council purchased these on the understanding that we would leave them up for all the kids to use.

"The D-rings on the back are not for swinging on nor climbing up and sitting in.

The hut at Toftwood Recreation Ground that Dereham Saints use, which is in the middle of being repaired and updated, has also been a victim of vandals previously. Picture: Dan BennettThe hut at Toftwood Recreation Ground that Dereham Saints use, which is in the middle of being repaired and updated, has also been a victim of vandals previously. Picture: Dan Bennett

"Thanks to mindless idiots, the goals have been removed and will only go up on training sessions before being removed again."

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Two years ago, the couple founded the club and formed a team after their son Jay received little game time at his previous club. Now they have around 180 children involved in their setup in an effort to give all children across Breckland the chance to get involved in football.

No strangers to vandalism, the couple explained how the changing rooms and hut at the recreation ground had also been targeted previously.

Mrs Cassidy said this week's incident was the third time the goalposts had been damaged.

"It's just awful.

"We spent hours fixing them earlier this week. We, as a club, can't afford to keep repairing them.

"We try to give kids something to do and that's how they repay us. It's the kids that use them properly I feel sorry for.

"It's heartbreaking."

The news comes a week after reports of damage to another children's play area , also in Toftwood.

A woodland character at Hillcrest Avenue park was damaged with a saw on Thursday, June 20.

The town council has invested £200,000 of public money into the project.

Norfolk Police said they had received no reports of damage to the goals but asked that anyone with information call the non-emergency number on 101.

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