Former footballer’s anger as vandals strike at club...again

IPSWICH: Former Tottenham and Newcastle star Ruel Fox today levelled an angry blast at thugs responsible for a spate of break-ins at one of the town’s leading amateur football clubs.

Whitton United Football Club says more than �500 of vandalism has been caused over the past couple of months, including damage to advertising hoardings, buildings and sheds.

Mr Fox, 43, who also played for Norwich City, is chairman of Whitton United.

He said the vandalism was frustrating and had come at a time when the club was on the up.

Earlier this year Whitton celebrated giving its clubhouse a �7,000 makeover after a donation from Mark Richards, who runs a number of McDonald’s franchises nearby.

Mr Fox said: “It’s frustrating because we have put a lot of hard work into this club and lots of people are giving their free time to improve it.

“And just when you think you’re getting somewhere, something like this happens.

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“We’re not against kids, we understand they don’t have much to do.

“The things they are trying to destroy is what we’re trying to do for them.”

Much of the vandalism – including damage to a fence and attempted break-ins to the dressing room, equipment store and sheds – has happened since Friday.

Lucky Singh, facilities manager at the club, said: “It’s just mindless.

“We have got 250 children who play here. We do our bit for the community.

“I have got my own job to do and I have got to come over and sort this out.

“My groundsman has got 15 acres to look after and he spends every morning clearing up after everything.

“We are the biggest club in Ipswich with all the teams we have got going.

“It’s a community club and we’re trying to do this for everyone. Instead of trying to ruin what we’re doing get involved and enjoy it with us.”

Councillor Mary Young, who represents the Castle Hill ward on Ipswich Borough Council, said: “It’s very depressing.

“They have worked so hard, they are all volunteers.

“The clubhouse has only just been done up.

“The club is on the up at the moment and they don’t have a lot of money.

“They have worked really hard down there, I’m really impressed with what they have done.”

n Do you have a message of support for Whitton United? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk