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Club's stand ruined by arsonists

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Arsonists have destroyed part of the wooden spectators' stand at Walsall Rugby Football Club ahead of the biggest game in its recent history.

wd2691122rugby-fire-1-jah.jpgArsonists have destroyed part of the wooden spectators' stand at Walsall Rugby Football Club ahead of the biggest game in its recent history.

Up to 20 per cent of the 150-capacity stand has been ruined by today's blaze, which is being investigated by police.

Rob Harding, director of rugby at the club, said it was a bitter disappointment ahead of next weekend's important match when the first 15 will take on close rivals Hereford at the ground in Delves Road. The teams are joint second in the Midlands 2 West league and a win for Walsall will move the club one step closer to promotion to Midlands 1 next season.

Mr Harding said: "We're anticipating a big crowd and now the stand is damaged that poses a problem.

"We are no different to most sports clubs in that we are bedevilled by minor aggravation and vandalism but it is annoying to be right in the heart of the community and striving to continually build links with schools and so on only to suffer a catalogue of nuisance."

Mr Harding said the members' club, which was established in 1922, would not allow the actions of a minority spoil the excitement of forthcoming fixture.

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