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‘It’s really sad’: Village football pitch damaged by ‘mindless’ vandals

PUBLISHED: 12:55 25 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:56 28 February 2020

Vandals damage Hethersett football pitch with tyre tracks
Picture:  Archant

Vandals damage Hethersett football pitch with tyre tracks Picture: Archant

Archant

The actions of vandals who left tyre marks strewn across a village football pitch have been slammed as ‘mindless’ and ‘unacceptable’.

Vandals damage Hethersett football pitch with tyre tracks
Picture:  Archant Vandals damage Hethersett football pitch with tyre tracks Picture: Archant

Damage to the pitch at Hethersett Memorial Playing Field, where Hethersett Athletic FC play their matches, was discovered on Monday (February 25) morning.

With the last match of the weekend having been played at lunchtime on Sunday, the damage is thought to have been done overnight Sunday into Monday.

The actions of those responsible have been roundly condemned in the village, with Hethersett Athletic emphasising the significant impact on the community.

A spokesman for the club said: "It's really sad that this would happen.

Vandals have left tyre marks on the pitch at Hethersett Athletic Football Club. Picture: HAFCVandals have left tyre marks on the pitch at Hethersett Athletic Football Club. Picture: HAFC

"The football club is such an important part of village life, providing sport for more than 400 people and it's such a shame that this could be put at risk through the mindlessness of others."

Over the coming days, the trustees of Hethersett Memorial Playing Field - which manages the pitch - will make arrangements to repair the damage, their job made more complex given recent wet weather.

Stephen Slack, one of the trustees and vice chairman of Hethersett Parish Council, said this was the first time he'd known this scale of destruction.

"I've been a trustee for about four years and this is the worst I've seen," added Mr Slack.

Vandals damage Hethersett football pitch with tyre tracks
Picture:  Archant Vandals damage Hethersett football pitch with tyre tracks Picture: Archant

"At about 8pm we lock the gate to stop anyone driving onto the pitch, so it's not easy to get on there and we suspect it must have been a smaller vehicle like a quadbike as the tracks are close together."

Despite the knock-on effect of the vandalism on the football club and wider community, Mr Slack believes the priority must be to educate those responsible.

He said: "We certainly don't like it and don't approve, but there is an element of feeling like this is going to happen because it is common enough across the country and there is public access.

"The police have said they are going to try and keep an eye, but unfortunately you can't be there all the time.

Vandals have left tyre marks on the pitch at Hethersett Athletic Football Club. Picture: HAFCVandals have left tyre marks on the pitch at Hethersett Athletic Football Club. Picture: HAFC

"Our attitude is to put things right straight away to show this is important to the community. People have got to understand this is unacceptable and there are consequences and costs for others to pick up."

It comes a few weeks after the same thing happened at Loddon United FC.


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