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Revamped rugby club is target for vandals

By Jamie Brassington | Wednesbury | News | Published:

Vandals have damaged restoration work carried out at a rugby club - leaving club members in shock.

Luke Pittaway, Gareth Hughes, Ian Ray, Chris Lister, Councillor Peter Hughes and Martin Brotherton with the damaged scoreboard

The incident took place at Wednesbury Rugby Club where a scoreboard was destroyed, dog fouling signs were ripped up and drainage pipes were damaged.

West Midlands Police is appealing for information in connection with the incident, which took place between Sunday (23) night and Monday (24) morning.

Steve Dale, who is a member of the club, said: "What happened was the club received some funding to bring the place up to scratch.

"Lots of members did lots of work over the weekend, where they put in planters, flag poles, some slabbing for new benches.

"We have lots of trouble with dog-fouling on the pitch. We put sings up around the pitch saying no dog fouling on the pitch.

"The dog fouling signs were thrown all over the place, a pole holding our scoreboard was ripped up and they also ripped up some drain pipes."

Around 60 to 70 members took part in the restoration work.

The club received £500 funding form NatWest, as part of an initiative set up in partnership with the Rugby Football Union, to carry out the work.

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Club vice chairman Martin Brotherton said: "We are really upset. Wednesbury Rugby Club is a community club.

"It is not just about rugby, it is used by other members of the club also.

"For somebody to do what they have, after all the hard work we have carried out, is absolutely heart breaking."

The rugby pitch is accessible to the public, meaning the club often have to clear the playing field of dog foul and other debris such as broken glass bottles.

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One rugby player nearly had to have his leg amputated after skidding in dog foul, said fellow Wednesbury North councillor Elaine Costigan.

"It happened recently," she said.

She added: "I find it very said what has happened regarding the vandalism. I would urge anyone who has information to report it to police."

Last year, a burnt out car was found on the playing field, said Mr Brotherton.

A West Midlands Police spokesman said officers have looked into the incident, but are appealing for help with new information to identify the culprits.

The spokesman said: "Offenders gained access to a sport field and damaged two advertising signs, a scoreboard post and 12 dog fouling signs.

"Police are appealing for help with information."

Wednesbury North ward councillor Peter Hughes, who is a life time member of the club, said: "I think it is terrible what has taken place."

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Trainee Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Reporter covering Dudley, Sandwell and Wyre Forest. Also dabble in sport. Call me on 01384353205 or email jamie.brassington@expressandstar.co.uk.

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