Anger as vandals strike again at Cottesmore AFC’s Westray Park ground

Cottesmore AFC chairman Steve Duffy and vice-chairman Rich Giblin inspect damage at their Westray Park ground EMN-170301-142108001
Cottesmore AFC chairman Steve Duffy and vice-chairman Rich Giblin inspect damage at their Westray Park ground EMN-170301-142108001

Football club bosses have spoken of their anger after a stand was vandalised – the latest in a string of attacks.

The damage at Cottesmore AFC’s Westray Park ground, off Main Street, Cottesmore, was spotted on the morning of New Year’s Day.

Damage at Westray Park ground EMN-170301-142040001

Damage at Westray Park ground EMN-170301-142040001

Wood and corrugated concrete panelling at the front of stand appears to have been kicked down and beer cans have been strewn around the area.

Club chairman Steve Duffy said he was appalled by the damage.

He said: “It is very sad that we seem to keep being targetted by vandals.

“Back in 2011 we had a major fire here which was started deliberately and caused around £80,000 of damage.

Damage at Westray Park

Damage at Westray Park

“That could have finished the club off, but we managed to beg and borrow equipment and eventually got back up and running.

“There been a number of other incidents where our property has been damaged since then.

“The club is entirely self-funding and we do not have a lot of money to pay for repairs.

“We have aspirations to progress out of our current league but that will mean investment in new facilities.

“We have plans to build new changing rooms near the pitch, and to fence off the site, but that will cost up to £30,000 and will take a huge amount of effort to raise that money.

“Every time we have to spend money on repairing vandalism it is making our development plans harder to achieve.”

Vice chairman Rich Giblin said the Westray Park ground boasts one of the best pitches in the league.

He added: “We’re a small club and people devote a huge amount of their own time and money to keep it running for the benefit of the community.

“It’s really sad that we are suffering vandalism on a regular basis.

“It costs around £12,000 a year just to keep the club running. Every penny counts and even a small amount of damage is making it harder for us.”

The club is intending to report the matter to Leicestershire Police.

Steve added: “Since the fire, we don’t leave anything of any value on site.

“We’ve had people trying to break into storage units on site but it’s pointless because there’s nothing in there.”

Cottesmore AFC has a first team, reserve team and a veterans team.

The club is keen to hear from any sponsors or donors who would like to help out by making a donation to support its future development plans.

For more information, call Steve on 07947 867623 or e-mail steveifast@outlook.com