Harpenden Town Football Club hit by vandals again

VANDALS have wreaked more havoc on a football club just days after officers appealed for local businesses, residents and the site owners to help them rejuvenate the base and safeguard its future.

With three upcoming league games at home, Harpenden Town Football Club say they are devastated by yet another bout of vandalism which has seen a dugout knocked down and another damaged, a section of the stand set on fire and damage to the goals.

The club president, Wynn Owens, said it was a huge disappointment for all involved with the club and put added pressure on the team as the three home matches approached.

He said: “We think it happened over the weekend and the police have estimated that the vandals have caused around �5,000 of damage. That’s an incredible amount for a club that doesn’t have the money to fix the damage done on previous occasions.”

In last week’s Herts Advertiser, Wynn and club secretary Les Crabtree said they were struggling to maintain the clubhouse and grounds that they had been leasing for around 50 years. With smashed windows, flooded floors and broken bottles now an unfortunate part of the scenery at the club, both officers say they are sick and tired of seeing the facilities damaged.

PCSO Del Holloway said: “We have conducted regular patrols and we will be working with the schools to find the people responsible and we have arranged to meet the football club chairman next week to discuss crime prevention measures.

“We will be working on a sustainable long-term solution to this ongoing problem with the town council, which will include discussing the possibilities of working together to raise money.

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“We need to change people’s perception of the club and turn it into a venue that people respect. If anyone is caught causing criminal damage, they will be dealt with accordingly.”

Anybody with any information about who may be responsible is being asked to contact the police on 0845 33 00 222.

The club, which was founded in 1891, is currently enjoying success on the pitch but needs to have a home ground that meets certain standards or it will be relegated from the league. Ideally, improvements would include larger dressing rooms with separate shower facilities for men and women, a protected walkway for players entering the pitch and perimeter fencing.

The club is also in desperate need of someone to run the bar, a groundsperson to help maintain the pitch and additio nal committee members. Anyone able to offer assistance is invited to contact Les at les-crabtree@lineone.net