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Vendetta fear after clubhouse targeted

PUBLISHED: 13:19 21 August 2002 | UPDATED: 12:30 03 March 2010

VILLAGE football chiefs suspect they are the victim of a vendetta after vandals went on the rampage and caused nearly £4,000 worth of damage to their clubhouse.

VILLAGE football chiefs suspect they are the victim of a vendetta after vandals went on the rampage and caused nearly £4,000 worth of damage to their clubhouse.

Vandals broke into the Ron Crascall Pavilion in Haughley – home of Haughley Football Club – between 6pm on Sunday and 7.15am yesterday smashing 30 windows at the rear of the Green Road clubhouse and destroying the club's trophy cabinet and it's contents.

Club officials are distraught that the club's history has been destroyed in this way – and think that this type of vandalism is more than the work of kids.

Former manager Richard Friend and committee member said the trophies were 'smashed to bits.'

Police said nothing was stolen but that an estimated £200 worth of damage was caused to the trophies and their display case, with £500 damage caused to the doors as the vandals forced their entry.

Around £3,000 worth of damage is estimated to have been caused to the windows at the rear.

Mr Friend called it 'mindless violence' – although others who declined to be named suggested that the latest attack maybe evidence of some kind of vendetta.

The vandals also drove a vehicle over the club's hallowed football pitch, which has received some £10,000 worth of treatment over the last two years.

A similar desecration took place last November when suspected joyriders rode over the pitch and left a burnt out moped in the club's car park.

Club Chairman Andy Manning said that the trophies that were destroyed were 'irreplaceable'.

"One of them was a trophy we got the only time we have won the league championship," he said.

"Another was a replica of the Mick McNeil Cup.

"A lot of history has gone. We are very distressed. It makes you think whether all your work is worthwhile.

"Hopefully the players won't be affected too much because the committee members will rally round."

The vandals also smashed the club's alarm system and set a fire extinguisher off.

The adjoining clubhouses for the Haughley Bowls Club and the Scout Hut next door received little or no damage.

A police spokesman said they were investigating the incident as an act of vandalism.

In the past parish councillors have called for a levying of a special tax to pay for a private security guard in Haughley to cut down on petty crime and vandalism.

Police are appealing for witnesses, anyone with information should call 01473 613500.

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