'Heartless' vandals place club's future in jeopardy

Some of the damage at Ribchester Football Club pavilion.
Some of the damage at Ribchester Football Club pavilion.
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A break-in at the home of Ribchester Rovers FC has left the football club in disarray after various items were stolen and damage caused to the club’s pavilion.

Thieves stole footballs from the pavilion and damaged a recently purchased ride-on mower, the pavilion’s windows and dugout.

The intruders also vandalised the inside of the pavilion which included the defacing of irreplaceable photos from the club’s history.

The incident happened some time between Saturday night and Monday evening, May 6th and 8th, and club representatives are now appealing for anyone who might have any information to come forward and speak to the police.

Ribchester Rovers FC is home to more than 80 players of various ages from juniors right through to the adult team.

The losses caused by the break-in could have a real impact on the club’s ability to run and members are worried it may result in a major disruption or, the worst case scenario would be the need to shut the club down altogether.

The club has been raising funds to replace the pavilion for the past couple of years. An upcoming fundraising concert – Rock on the Rec – is being held on Saturday, July 22nd. However, there is a fear now that this money will be needed to make temporary repairs and replace lost and damaged equipment.

Chris Byrne, Ribchester Rovers chairman, said: “It’s a total disaster, its no secret the pavilion wasn’t in great shape to start with and we’ve been working hard raising funds to replace it. This loss is really going to impact our ability to keep the club going and cater to the local community. I can’t believe that someone would be heartless enough to do this and everyone at the club is upset about it after all their hard work over recent years.”

He added: “Any help or information on the perpetrators would be greatly appreciated as we’re doing everything we can to keep the club going. The thought of shutting down is a very real possibility unfortunately. I would like to thank everyone for their messages of support and offer of help following the incident. It’s brilliant to see the community come together in a time of need.”

The club has set up a GoFundMe page in an attempt to replace the lost and damaged equipment and keep it afloat. Any donations are gratefully received and any remaining funds will go towards a new pavilion to replace the dilapidated and damaged one that stands currently. Donations can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/ribchester-football-pavilion-fund.