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Club receives donations after vandalism

Club receives donations after vandalism: A thriving Suffolk football club has received two kind-hearted gestures after vandals damaged two pitches and forced youth games to be postponed.

Volunteers at Stowupland Falcons FC were dismayed after quad bike vandals left tyre tracks on the field overnight on Saturday, November 2, causing the cancellation of Sunday youth fixtures.

Club receives donations after vandalism

But after hearing of the club’s plight in this newspaper, Malcolm Birt, from Ipswich, came forward to donate a roller to the club to help with repairs as well as a cheque for £50.

The club also received a £100 donation towards pitch repairs from neighbouring club Mendlesham FC.

In an email, Mendlesham chairman Tim Mack said he was “appalled” by the vandalism.

He said: “It is difficult enough keeping a football club funded and volunteer rich without having to deal with such mindless vandalism.”

Pete Mayhew, Stowupland Falcons chairman, said: “It was a really nice thing for Malcolm to do.

“It came out of the blue and he phoned up and said he wanted to help.

“He said he’d been involved with local football in his younger days and that the roller was more use to us than it was to him.

“He also donated £50 towards repairs which was really kind.”

Mr Mayhew added that the donation from Mendlesham FC showed that grass roots football “had come together”.

“There can be a little bit of rivalry between clubs,” he said. “But it’s nice to know that when it comes to the crunch, they wanted to help out a fellow football club.

“Ultimately, we are all trying to do the same thing and bring football to the people.

“Everyone talks about money in football, but let me tell you, there isn’t much at the grass roots level.

“£100 is a lot of money to Mendlesham and it’s such a kind thing for them to do.

“I think it shows that people do come together.”

Mr Mayhew said that due to the extensive rain in the past week, the club has so far been unable to work on the pitches.

“The games were called off due to the weather this weekend and so we haven’t been able to roll it yet.

“We are hoping to get on there at some stage on Sunday and get them ready for next weekend,” he added.

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Plea for help after vandal attack

Plea for help after vandal attack: Volunteers from a city football club have appealed for help after vandals struck.

As reported by the Evening Express on Friday, officials at Kincorth AFC were left shocked after intruders damaged their pitch at Kincorth Field.

Plea for help after vandal attack

Vandals got onto the land and covered it in tyre tracks and burnt-out debris.

Some of the damage has been cleaned up but a scorch mark remains almost a week on.

Now the club’s chairman, Kris Harris, is urging anyone with the expertise to help restore the pitch to its former glory to get in touch.

Mr Harris said: “We need some help please. As you know the pitch was vandalised last week and there is a scorch mark on the edge of the box.

“Our co-manager Andrew Ewan is really not happy about it and we need to get someone professional to have a look.

“We would be grateful if you can point us in the right direction.

“What we’re hoping to do is cut this scorch mark out and replace it with a part from behind the goals, but again this is something we need advice on.”

The club is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year and it is one of the most successful teams in the history of the Aberdeen Amateur Football Association.

Mr Harris added: “The culprits of this damage have little awareness of the wider impact this has on the community.”

Contact the club via facebook.com/kincorthafc/ if you can help.

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Games cancelled after pitch vandalism

Games cancelled after pitch vandalism: Angry club officials have spoken of their frustration as a reckless driver has damaged two of their football pitches.

Southwell City Football Club has had to cancel their 7-a-side matches for the foreseeable future as their pitch has been damaged by a irresponsible driver, or drivers, racing and performing doughnuts on the club’s Church Street pitches.

Games cancelled after pitch vandalism

Chairman of the club John Cunningham said: “This was a bit of a shock to say the least, we’re a community club with 300 local players, so why someone would do this is beyond us.

“It’s not just the players, it’s the families who are involved with us as well, most people in the town are involved with the club or know someone who is.”

As a result of the damage, the club is relying on their opponents having pitches available so that games can be played away from home if possible. If not, the games will have to be cancelled altogether.

Mr Cunningham said: “It’s too early to say how much it’s going to cost to repair the pitch, but it’s the inconvenience that’s the biggest problem for us.”

Nottinghamshire Police have confirmed that a vehicle was driven across two football pitches belonging to Southwell City F.C, damaging the surface, and the incident is believed to have happened at a time between late last night and early this morning.

If you have any information about the incident, contact Nottinghamshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 167 of October 18.

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Volunteers ‘Disheartened’ After Pitch Vandalism

Volunteers ‘Disheartened’ After Pitch Vandalism: Volunteers at an amateur football club have been left “disheartened” after vandals rode across their pitch on off-road motorcycles.

After going to check the pitch at Breightmet Wanderers’ Dolan Park on Sunday morning, a member of the club spotted long tyre trails across the turf.

Volunteers 'Disheartened' After Pitch Vandalism

The pitches, off Newby Road, have been left open to the public since the team took ownership of them around two years ago but club secretary Andy Fearnley said they might have to be closed off following the “frustrating” vandalism.

He said: “It’s something I don’t want to do because it’s there for the community to use but it’s just a shame when something like this happens. We’re looking at closing it to the public if we have to.”

The pitch is used by nine teams, with age groups from under 8s to 17s playing games at Dolan Park. It is kept in shape by a team of volunteers from the club.

Mr Fearnley explained that, while the damage to the pitch was not extensive, it has caused concern.

He said: “On Saturday we had three sets of teams playing there, the under 8s, 9s and 10s, so if this had happened a day before then all of the games could’ve been cancelled.

” It’s not a major amount to fix depending on the weather but it’s all voluntary so when you turn up and see this it’s awful.”

He added: “There’s a difficult balance between providing a maintained pitch for our players and appreciating the need for a local community outside area but this makes me want to put barriers up.”

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Police Appeal After Pitch Damage

Police Appeal After Pitch Damage: A Clitheroe sports pitch has been “cut to shreds” after a sneaky adult kickabout.

Now, the pitch will be closed for several days, while council groundsmen rectify the damage.

Police Appeal After Pitch Damage

Up to 12 adults were spotted turfing up at the Edisford Road pitch – one of five next to the car park – on Wednesday night. Police are investigating the incident.

The site was closed after heavy rain and the football kickabout caused significant damage to the pitch’s saturated grass surface.

Security chains holding the goals together were later found to have been removed by bolt-cutters.

Now the police and Ribble Valley Borough Council, which owns the site, are appealing for information in a bid to catch the culprits and recover repair costs.

Stuart Carefoot, chairman of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s community services committee, said: “A group of adults were spotted entering the site without permission and having an impromptu kickabout on a pitch that was rain-soaked.

“In doing so, the grass has been cut to shreds and the pitch rendered unusable. This thoughtless and selfish act means youngsters and authorised users will be prevented from using the pitch until the it is repaired. We are determined to catch the culprits and have reported the matter to the police.”

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Pitch Damaged After Concert

Pitch Damaged After Concert: Pundit Michael Stewart has revealed his dismay at the condition of Hearts’ pitch after the club hosted an Edinburgh Festival concert a week ago today.

The damage appears to have been done when the stadium was the venue for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra on August 3. It saw a crowd of more than 15,000 arrive in Gorgie to witness the official opening of the world renowned arts festival.

Pitch Damaged After Concert

Hearts laid the state-of-the-art hybrid pitch at a cost of £1m in March and Stewart took to Twitter to register his displeasure at it’s apparent poor health.

He said: “What a crying shame the Tynecastle park looks like this.

“Have spoken with the groundsmen and thankfully they seem to be comfortable that the park will recover and quickly. Fingers crossed.

“£1million spent last year on this park and it was tremendous. The groundsmen deserved huge credit and now it looks destroyed before the league campaign has even started here.”

Hearts released a statement on Tuesday after pictures emerged on social media showing the apparent extent of damage done to the pitch by the Festival event.

The statement said: “Prior to agreeing to host the concert, we took advice from a number of expert sources, including the companies involved in laying the pitch.

“Our pitch consultants, STRI Group, were contracted to advise and manage the pitch protection process on our behalf, working throughout with our own groundstaff.

“We have always known that the event would have an impact on the aesthetics of the pitch, however, there would be no impact on its playability.

“In short, there have been no unforeseen issues relating to the pitch and the first team will train on it, as usual, on Friday.”

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Groundsmen Sacked After Team leak

Groundsmen Sacked After Team leak: Employees of Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club claim they were unfairly dismissed in a “witch-hunt” after a team selection was leaked online.

Three members of ground staff were allegedly denied disciplinary hearings or reasons for their sacking on Friday.

Groundsmen Sacked After Team leak

The GMB union said the dismissal “stinks” and called for Brighton to reinstate workers.

Brighton, which recently retained Premier League status, said it would not comment on the incident.

The club announced team selections were being leaked from October 2018.

Ex-deputy head groundsman Ashley Smith, 34, said he was taken into “private meetings” and questioned along with his colleagues from April.

The meetings were not recorded and the employees were allegedly told “they were helping with the inquiry”.

“It was a dream job that has been taken off me for no reason,” he said.

“I have a family mortgage and it’s going to have a massive impact on my whole life. I haven’t been sleeping since.”

GMB branch secretary Mark Turner said: “No evidence has been found or presented by the club during this near three-month investigation which links our members to the supposed social media team leaks, yet they dismiss our members without notice.

“This just stinks and considering this club prides itself on its commitment to the standards, values and expectations set by the Premier League, the way they have treated their staff throughout this witch hunt is simply deplorable and unfair.”

The GMB and Mr Smith said the workers had appealed against the decision and union is taking legal advice.

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Anger After Mower Theft

Anger After Mower Theft: Steve Kenny, chairman of Whalley Junior Football Club, is angry after thieves broke the lock of a container and stole a Craftsman mower worth £2k on September 18.

The club have two large pitches, and three smaller-sided pitches to cater for matches for their age-groups from

Anger After Mower Theft

Mr Kenny said: “It is gutting and frustrating as we put a lot of effort into fundraising events a few years ago.

“We have to mow our fields as part of the agreement with the parish council to use the facility.

“Our groundsman Dave Leeming rang me to tell me about it and you could tell how gutted he was in his voice when he told us.

“We have a lot of volunteers and we are doing it for the community and then you get people doing this.

“It is a huge area to cut and we have paid to get a new yellow deck on the side of it to cut the grass which makes it distinctive.

“We have been asking people locally if they have any CCTV of vehicles in the area to see if we can identify who stole it.

“It is a real shame because it is for the community as other organisations and families use the pitches too. If we don’t maintain it, then it will be overgrown.”

Steve has been amazed by the response of the community since the news broke.

He said: “One of our neighbours has contacted us to say that we can borrow their sit-on mower if we needed it.

“We have also set up a Crowdfunding page to try to raise money for a new one.

“So far we have managed to get £920 and we have been taken aback by the support in such a short space of time.

“We are hoping to get our target of £2k to get another mower.”

Groundsman Dave Leeming said: “I turned up and the container was open.

“I rang up to see if anyone had left it like that and then I saw the mower was missing.

“It was heartbreaking when I saw the lock has been forced open.

“I have been going down two or three times a week and put a lot of time into getting the pitches looking good and you just cannot do your job.”

Sgt Stuart Banks, from the Neighbourhood team in Ribble Valley, said: “This crime is going to have a massive effect on a football club and they are suffering a significant loss to mow their pitches.

“We are appealing for anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area to report it to us.

“Another vehicle would have been needed to take it away from there so we need the public to help by calling 101 and using the crime reference number of 20180918-0781.”

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Anthracnose Risk After Summer Stress

Anthracnose Risk After Summer Stress: After a summer of prolonged dry weather, grass plants have experienced extreme droughts, and greenkeepers are reminded to act now before disease onset this autumn.

Dr Colin Mumford, Bayer technical manager, explains that stressed turf is more likely to be affected by diseases such as Anthracnose, foliar blight and Anthracnose basal rot.

Anthracnose Risk After Summer Stress

“Grass swards are struggling to recover following this summer’s extreme weather conditions, making them more susceptible to disease. If weather conditions are cool and damp going forward you’ll be more likely to see disease outbreaks,” he says.

“Anthracnose is known as a low nitrogen disease so it’s essential to monitor plant nutrition regularly to keep your grass plant in the best condition. You can do this by looking at grass clippings when mowing greens or taking soil or tissue samples and applying correct nutrients if required.

“However, if conducive weather conditions prevail, I’d advise greenkeepers to treat turf preventatively to stop disease from establishing, using a dual action fungicide such as Dedicate (tebuconazole and trifloxystrobin).

“As well as helping to reduce the impact of scarring, treating turf preventatively will minimise the effect of Anthracnose, in turn leaving you with a healthier grass plant that’s able to withstand other disease stresses like Microdochium Patch,” says Colin.

Following the loss of iprodione, Colin recommends that greenkeepers use an integrated approach to combat disease. This should include both cultural and biological controls as well as fungicides if required.

For further information about preventative fungicides please visit www.environmentalscience.bayer.co.uk or contact the Turf Solutions Team on 00800 1214 9451, at turfsolutions@bayer.com

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Match Off After Pitch Vandalism

Match Off After Pitch Vandalism: Ongoing damage at Putaruru’s Totara Park is angering the community and sparking fears public access could be restricted.

In the latest incident a vehicle damaged the football pitch so badly that the Rangers team had to cancel its final game of the season.

Match Off After Pitch Vandalism

Manager Derek Roberts, who has been with the club since the 1960’s, said although not the first time vehicles have damaged the grounds, it was the worst he had seen.

South Waikato District Council parks and reserves manager Phil Parker said the damage was “frustrating”.

“Staff and contractors find this behaviour equally annoying as park users,” he said.

“Our staff and contractors work hard to maintain our parks, reserves and sports grounds for our community and to see them treated with such disrespect is very frustrating.”

Parker said prior to the latest incident the council’s contractor was due to begin the bi-annual turf renovation programme.

“This will continue, however, obviously, this part of the grounds will now require some additional work and effort,” he said.

He said the ongoing damage was costing ratepayers.

“Sadly this is not an isolated incident,” he said.

“There is a cost to ratepayers to repair this kind of damage which is unfortunate, but the greatest cost in this instance is that the Putaruru Rangers had to forfeit their last game of the season. That’s really disappointing.”

Parker said the council was disappointed that the actions of a few people were ruining things for the majority.

“Those responsible for this vandalism should be held to account. Unfortunately without eyewitnesses that is close to impossible,” he said.

“We would encourage anyone who knows anything to contact the council or the police.”

Senior Sergeant Jason Henderson said he wasn’t aware of any reports being made to police.

“We haven’t received any report as yet. That is quite often the thing, if we don’t know about it we can’t actually do anything about it,” he said.

“More often than not we find people don’t want to bug the police because we are already busy and all the rest of it but if there is a trend and it is annoying people then we need to know so we can look into it.”

Henderson said such incidents could lead to public access being restricted to such facilities.

“These people will end up ruining it for everyone,” he said.

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