'Gutted': Vandals wreck £1,500 goalposts at children's football club
Yobs caused hundreds of pounds of damage to equipment at a children's football club in Burntwood – leaving coaches and players 'sick to the stomach'.
Steve Edwards, who is the under-13 manager of Midland Soccer Academy, says the club will have to 'shell out a fortune' to repair the vandalism.
The club, which survives on weekly subs from its players, spent more than £1,500 in total buying the goals and getting them delivered to their base in Cherry Close.
However, two days after they were set up Mr Edwards discovered the nets had been slashed, wheels allowing the goals to be moved had been buckled and the stanchions supporting the frames had been bent.
"I feel sick to the stomach," he said.
"My two young boys were beside themselves and the other parents are gutted."
Both of Mr Edwards' two sons, Billy, 12, and Stanley, 11, play for the club.
Having already stretched their meagre financial resources to purchase the goals, the club has now had to spend hundreds more on repairing the damage.
Mr Edwards said: "We have had to buy brand new nets and put new wheels on.
"It's money the club hasn't got. It's a massive outlay for such a small club."
The club have received a stirring response from the grassroots community, however.
Mr Edwards said: "We have had teams from as far away as Mansfield offering support to us.
"There are good people out there as well as the idiots that have done this.
"We would have liked to have taken them up on their offer but other grassroots clubs need the money themselves."
A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: "The chairman of a local football club contacted us to say that football goals which had been chained to a fence had been damaged.
"There was no CCTV. PCSO officers have conducted enquiries in the local area."
Anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting reference number 229 May 2.
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or at crimestoppers-uk.org