Burglars raided Eastwood Town Football Club and caused thousands of pounds worth of damage — before fleeing with a plasma TV and hundreds of pounds from gaming machines.
The callous intruders at Coronation Park even took £180 from a toy machine raising money for Help for Heroes – the charity in aid of injured servicemen and women and has been heavily involved in raising cash in memory of Drummer Lee Rigby, who was killed in Woolwich.
The club’s vice-chairman, Steve Peat, has branded the raid ‘disgusting’.
“The Help for Heroes machine has been ransacked,” he said. “I’ve seen stuff like this happen before at other clubs, but I can’t believe what happened with the charity stuff. That’s the bit I’m disappointed in, especially after the Woolwich killing. It’s disgusting.”
The burglary happened on Wednesday May 29 and Mr Peat said when he found the aftermath the next day it looked like the club had been ‘sabotaged’.
“It was totally ransacked,” he added. “It’s like they had gone out of their way to cause damage.
“It’s very distressing. We are supposed to be a community club.”
The crime comes just weeks after the club were relegated.
It is thought the thieves were disturbed because computers were found boxed up and ready to be taken, and bottles of spirits were found stacked up in a wheelie bin.
Balaclavas and tools used in the break-in were also left on site, including a crow bar, hammer and ball ratchet used to smash up the fruit machines.
More than £600 was stolen from the gaming machines.