VANDALS trashed an amateur football club's historic pavilion dealing a blow to plans to raise money for a new one.

Historic photographs were destroyed, footballs were stolen and the walls were daubed with paint and graffiti at Ribchester Rovers Football Club.

Hundreds of pounds worth of damage was caused after people forced their way into the building in two places by ripping panels off the side.

They also damaged a ride-on lawn mower and cracked the dugout by kicking it.

The pavilion, on the village's playing fields just off Church Street, is estimated to be around 100 years old and is in a poor condition.

Last year planning permission was granted to build a new one however the plans hit a stumbling block after the club missed out on grant funding.

Club bosses are trying to raise the money themselves but keep having to fork out on temporary repairs for the old one, which is used as a changing room for the young players.

Club chairman Chris Byrne said people broke in between Saturday night and Monday night.

He said: “I was taking my little girl to the park and noticed the equipment was out. I went to investigate.

“It is an old shed and we have been fundraising for 12 years to try and get it replaced.

“Old photos have been damaged. They have got hold of the line paint and painted the walls and graffitied them with permanent marker.

“They have been through all the drawers and emptied them on the floor. It is mindless really.

“We had some plans passed for a new pavilion but we have not got the funds for it so we are fundraising constantly for that.

“This has happened quite a few times and it is throwing money away trying to keep the old one as secure as possible. It is very frustrating.

“It is hard enough running a club. We rely on volunteers and every bit of money is generated through subs and scrimping so having to pay out for stuff like this is upsetting.”

He has estimated it will cost hundreds of pounds to fix this time.

Volunteers have offered to help clean up the mess and the club is setting up a fundraising page to try and raise cash.

“It is disappointing for the kids that this keeps happening.

“The community has given us a lot of offers of help which is a positive out of a negative.”

A police spokeswoman said: “A report came in that the clubhouse was broken in to overnight between March 8 and March 9.

“Quite a lot of damage has been caused.

“Enquiries are on-going.”

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