Vandals threaten to destroy football club’s promotion hopes

The ruined dugouts
The ruined dugouts

A football team on the verge of promotion fear their dreams could be dashed because of a weekend vandal attack at their ground.

Following a fantastic season on the pitch, Hartshead AFC are close to securing a move up to the West Yorkshire Association Premier Division, as they sit second in the Division One table with just one game to play.

But following a weekend incident in which yobs ripped apart their dugouts at Primrose Lane playing fields, it now leaves them short of the minimum requirements to be accepted into the area’s top league.

With a win on Saturday guaranteeing them promotion, the Cleckheaton club are facing an anxious wait to find out if the league would let them move up to the top flight next season.

The team’s assistant manager, Nathan Page, said: “We had to get the dug outs finished and barriers put up around the pitch by April 28, which we did, then this happened hours later.

“Everyone is distraught, we’ve done a lot of fundraising for this, it’s cost about £4,000.

“On and off the pitch it’s been a brilliant effort to get us into this position. When it looked like we might get promoted in February we started thinking about the work.

“We’ve been aiming to get to the next league for a few years, it would be our first time, but for some vandals to come along and do this is devastating.

“I don’t think they understand the repercussions of what they’ve done.”

Four youths were spotted attacking the dug outs on Friday evening, April 28 before being disturbed.

The second dugout was then smashed up sometime between 3pm Sunday and 10am on Monday.

People are now being asked to dig deep and donate to help the club put the dugouts right after they set up a fundraising page at www.gofundme.com/hartshead-afc-dugouts

The club has set a £500 target, although Mr Page says it is likely to cost more to repair.