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Football club trashed and left with £4k bill after burglary ahead of historic clash

By Carl Jackson | Cheslyn Hay & Great Wyrley | Crime | Published:

Burglars trashed a football club causing thousands of pounds worth of damage and stealing a minibus as it prepares for one of the biggest matches in its history.

Thieves raided the home of Wolverhampton Sporting Community FC at Great Wyrley.

They removed steel bars from the windows of the changing rooms at Pride Park on Hazel Lane, smashing the windows and then forcing open emergency fire doors to get into other parts of the clubhouse.

Whilst inside the vandals continued the assault on other windows whilst also breaking a pool table and till beyond repair.

Their final act was to drive off in a minibus the club had hired, although they have managed to recover it thanks to the tracker which was fitted.

All told the club, which has dozens of players on the books across a men’s, women’s and lower age teams, is now facing a £4,000 repair bill after the raid on Sunday at around 3am.

They were also forced to cancel their under 16 fixture on Sunday losing out on valuable income.

And the attack could not have come at worst time as the club had only just launched a fundraising campaign for £37,000 to build new changing rooms and toilets at the ground, which they only took over in 2014.

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But even more pertinently, it has come as an unwanted distraction ahead of the mens’ team’s contest with Shepshed Dynamo in the third round of the FA Vase trophy at Hazel Lane on Saturday.

The team, which usually plies its trade in the premier division of the West Midlands Regional League, has never been further than the first round of the competition, which has a historic trip to Wembley at stake for the eventual finalists.

Club chairman Mark Hopson said: “We took it (the ground) over in 2014 after it became derelict. We were trying to improve it gradually and encourage more local people to be involved with the club and then you get this happen which is frustrating for everyone at the club. The thieves caused thousands of pounds worth of damage. They also stole a minibus which was on hire but we managed to recover it as it had a tracker fitted.

“The approximate cost of the damage is £4,000 plus the club was closed on Sunday losing much needed income.

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“The FA Vase game on Saturday is massive even more so after the damage caused at the weekend so it would be great to see as many people as possible come down to Pride Park and support the club during this difficult week.” A spokesman from Staffordshire Police said: “We are examining CCTV and inquiries are ongoing.”

Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting incident 206 of November 26.

Visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/mark-hopson?utm_id=102 to donate to the fundraising campaign.

Carl Jackson

By Carl Jackson

Local Democracy Reporting Service

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