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‘Army’ of footballers to clean up vandalised play park

Vandalism to Great Blakenham Village Hall. Picture: PC DAVE WRIGHT/SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Vandalism to Great Blakenham Village Hall. Picture: PC DAVE WRIGHT/SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Archant

A community-spirited band of footballers have pledged to clear up a vandalised play park and village hall - in a bid to send a powerful message to the culprits who trashed it.

Vandalism to Great Blakenham Village Hall. Picture: PC DAVE WRIGHT/SUFFOLK CONSTABULARYVandalism to Great Blakenham Village Hall. Picture: PC DAVE WRIGHT/SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Climbing frames, swings and other play park equipment at Great Blakenham Village Hall had white spray paint daubed all over them in a night-time attack.

Vandals also pulled down guttering and pipes at the village hall during the incident on Tuesday, July 31.

But after hearing of the crime, players at Great Blakenham Chequers Football Club - which plays at the pitch by the village hall - put themselves forward to clean the graffiti.

“We feel this will be good for the community and shows a team spirit but utmost puts the park back to its former glory,” said Kieran Doggett, chairman of the club.

Vandalism to Great Blakenham Village Hall. Picture: PC DAVE WRIGHT/SUFFOLK CONSTABULARYVandalism to Great Blakenham Village Hall. Picture: PC DAVE WRIGHT/SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

“We as a team have players with children, including myself, so the park is a very integral part to our football team.”

He added that the park was a “massive benefit” to the club, not least because they are offered use of the pitch at a reduced rate.

“It shows that we’re committed to playing there,” said Mr Doggett of the clean-up, which will take place on Monday, August 13 at 6pm.

“It’s our way of giving back to them for helping us out. It’s a massive help.”

Vandalism at Great Blakenham Village Hall. Picture: PC DAVE WRIGHT/SUFFOLK CONSTABULARYVandalism at Great Blakenham Village Hall. Picture: PC DAVE WRIGHT/SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

When players saw Pc Dave Wright post photographs on Twitter and Facebook showing the extent of the damage, Mr Doggett said: “We were quite devastated.

“We were disgusted by it. It’s a small village and you don’t expect this sort of thing to even happen in a place like this.

“It’s a small village with not a lot to do there and the football team helps people to keep out of trouble.

“We hope that when people see the clean-up, they’ll know there’s a bit of an army behind it.”

Vandalism at Great Blakenham Village Hall. Picture: PC DAVE WRIGHT/SUFFOLK CONSTABULARYVandalism at Great Blakenham Village Hall. Picture: PC DAVE WRIGHT/SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Village hall organisers have encouraged members of the public to be vigilant about any suspicious activity at the site in Mill Lane.

Police have also asked any members of the public who think they might know who is responsible to call officers on 101.

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