Vandals attack youth football club
PUBLISHED: 06:30 14 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:00 22 October 2010
The chairman of a youth football club says it is determined to start next season, despite vandals causing so much damage to changing rooms that they had to be demolished.
The chairman of a youth football club said yesterday it was determined to start next season, despite vandals causing so much damage to changing rooms that they had to be demolished.
It had been hoped the facilities at Gaymers playing field in Attleborough would last another season. But despite regular police patrols over the past two months, windows have been smashed, wires pulled out, plumbing ripped out, fire extinguishers let off and kit and equipment stolen.
The club is applying for funding from the Football Foundation to provide new changing facilities to replace what was a portable building, which had been used for about 15 years and was demolished at the weekend.
Chairman of Attleborough Town Youth Football Club, David Bligh, said the vandalism had put it in a difficult position approaching the new season, in September.
"The only hope of carrying on is the hire of temporary buildings which will cost the club a lot of money. This money may have to come out of funds raised towards the proposed changing facilities or be raised by other means.
"We at the club are determined to keep it running. We are the largest organisation for kids after the school and football is one of the very few things in the town to keep youngsters occupied, which is why this club is very important to Attleborough."
The club caters for at least 170 children and will have nine teams next season, ranging from under-nines to under-16s.
It could cost more than £60 a week to hire temporary changing rooms and thousands of pounds overall, as there would not be a permanent building in place for at least 18 months.
"The police have done as good a job as they can, they were down there at least once a night. It got to the stage where so much damage had been done that it was not worth repairing," said Mr Bligh. "We were only expecting them to last another year but this has robbed us of that. It's costing us a lot of money, which we could have done without. It probably cost us the best part of £1000 to demolish the thing.
"It's all very sad. As it stands there is nowhere for the kids to change next season. But we are determined that we will start next season."
The club has been told it would cost between £200,000 and £250,000 to provide purpose-built facilities.
So far, £22,000 has been raised.
Anyone who can help the club should contact Mr Bligh on 07714 291267.
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