TRAVELLERS have trashed the site of a youth football club in Southam and destroyed the team’s gear.
Southam United FC coaches were faced with total destruction after the unwelcome visitors broke in and vandalised the junior clubhouse and pitches off Banbury Road – causing an estimated £5,000 worth of damage.
The building was flooded, doused in paint and human faeces was discovered by police on Wednesday (May 23).
The pitches were also strewn with rubbish, glass and broken crockery, and the goals children used for training and matches were destroyed and no longer usable.
Floodlights had also been torn down, leaving exposed live wires.
Training sessions had already been cancelled after eight caravans first moved onto the junior pitches the previous Sunday.
Police visited the site on Tuesday and the next day the encampment had left, leaving ‘devastation’ in its wake.
Children and parents have been warned to stay away from the site for safety reasons.
Manager of the under-13s team Sophie Bourton said: “Children and parents of the club have been very supportive in the matter, but undoubtedly are very angry as the club is somewhere the children love to come and train and play, yet this has been taken away from them.”
The manager took matters into her own hands, launching a crowdfunding campaign to pay for the damage and replace equipment.
And by the following morning the page had smashed its target of £1,500 by over £500, thanks to supportive families and residents. Southam-based manufacturing company Al-Ko Kober also donated £500 to the crowdfund.
And the team is hoping the community will pull together even further in an operation to begin restoring the premises.
Search ‘Southam United Junior’ on Justgiving.com to donate further.