Junior football boss hits out at fire thugs

A JUNIOR football boss has slammed the "animals" who destroyed £2000 of team equipment.

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The firebugs destroyed £2000 of team equipment at Blantyre Vics

Firebugs set light to a steel container holding goods belonging to Blantyre Victoria Football Club.

Match secretary Andy McDade said the junior club was devastated by the attack.

He said: "The boys are upset. The container held a range of things, from wheelbarrows, grass cutters, paint and garden forks to our coffee machine, the washing machine for our strips and the copier for our programmes.

"It all adds up to around £2000 of kit and we can't afford to replace it."

Thugs struck at around 11.45pm on Monday, setting light to one of two containers at the back of the team's Castle Park pavilion, in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire.

Mr McDade, who lives near the ground, said fire crews emptied out the club's blackened belongings.

The 65-year-old added: "None of it could be saved.

"The firefighters laid it all out on the grass and it was completely ruined, just blackened."

Tuesday's attack is not the first time the club's Castle Park home has been targeted.

Mr McDade said the team's grounds are repeatedly under attack from vandals.

The club has suffered several break-ins, vandalism and in one incident, diesel was poured on the pitch.

The match secretary said: "We do our best to get local lads. When they come on a Saturday to watch us play we hand out old football tops to them and have a chat.

"We invited them along to matches and we try to explain to them what we are doing.

"But there seems to be no way to get through to these animals. We have no idea why we are targeted so often.

"We can't lock the gates, because the clubhouse is open late and needs access, but even if we did lock up the gates they would just climb over.

"It feels like nothing can be done."

Blantyre Victoria FC, dubbed the Vics, are now appealing for help in replacing their lost equipment.

The club, which was formed in 1890, currently competes in the West Region of the Scottish Junior Football Association.

As well as the main team, the Vics give support to eight local boys' teams and hope to increase that number.

To help the club, or make donations, call 07930 128702 or 01698 323790.

catriona.stewart@eveningtimes.co.uk

Football

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