Harpenden Town football club once again targeted by vandals
- Credit: photo supplied
Vandals have struck again at a local football club, leaving volunteers fuming at being left with a bill for several hundred pounds just days before a charity match.
Herts Police are investigating criminal damage to a stand at Harpenden Town Football Club, which is based at Rothamsted Park.
Vandals struck last Thursday (28) evening after footballers had completed their training, about a week before a charity fundraiser for Prostate Cancer UK as part of national non-league day.
Vice chairman Roman Motyczak said wooden seats were smashed and brick pillars broken in one of the stands.
On Saturday (6) the club will host the match - which visitors are welcome to attend free of charge in return for a donation to the charity.
With that event just days away, volunteers have had to rush to replace seating to get the ground ready for attendees.
The Herts Advertiser first highlighted vandalism problems at the secluded site several years ago, after members of the 120-year-old club said they were fed up with smashed windows and broken bottles strewn near the pitch.
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Since then volunteers have worked hard to raise much-needed funds to revamp the premises in future.
Roman said: “It’s sickening that we are hoping to provide a big welcome to Wodson Park on our charity day and yet we face repairing all this damage.
“Harpenden Town are top of their league and have had an astonishing start to the season, yet some people just want to wreck our progress. This is not the sort of welcome that the town of Harpenden should be giving to visitors.”
As there are no Premiership or Championship games this weekend to allow for international matches, this has provided a platform for non-league clubs to show off their talents.
An annoyed Roman added: “I’m frustrated as the club has been moving forward. We have a higher profile and have been successful on the pitch, and to have this sideline our efforts … we would like the people who did this to come and fix it.
“We are all volunteers, and have day jobs so we give up our time for the club, but we’re not in the Premier League.”
Harpenden Town is currently considering tenders for a revamp of its premises, located off Amenbury Lane.
The club has had a “cracking start” to the season according to Roman, with an unbeaten record over six games, taking them to the top of the Spartan South Midlands League Division One.
Roman said he hoped “loads of Harpenden folk will take advantage of free entry to turn up to cheer us on and support this worthwhile charity.
“Prostate Cancer UK is a great cause, helping many men including footballers who have suffered from this disease.”
Harpenden resident Steve Gledhill, who has been successfully treated for the condition, said: “One in eight men will get prostate cancer and money is needed to find a reliable test and a cure that does not damage the patient.
“The charity needs funds for its information campaigns. Without this knowledge I would not have seen my doctor, been diagnosed early and treated successfully.”
The club’s game at their Rothamsted Park pitch against Wodson Park starts at 3pm.
Herts Police have appealed for information about the vandalism, asking people to phone non-emergency number 101.