Cricket club members say they are “at the end of their tether” after a series of vandalism incidents culminated in their roll-on covers being damaged.

Accrington Cricket Club members posted a CCTV image on their Twitter page showing a large group of youngsters sitting on the cover at around 2.50pm, and they also said they had been spotted walking over and bouncing on the dome-shaped cover.

Club chairman Jonathan Hayhurst said this is not the first time the club has had trouble with anti-social behaviour but he is not sure what more can be done without help and funding from the local authorities.


He said: “It’s a material cover supported by arms that create the dome shape. They’re running on top of it which means it’s starting to sag but they’re also climbing on the supports so they’re bending too. There was a bit of graffiti sprayed on which we got removed.

“It’s a big issue we’ve got. It’s a daily occurrence that there’s people on here messing about. The covers have got burn holes in them from last year.

“It’s been raised a couple of times that we’ve got some issues with anti-social behaviour. We’ve reported it to the police, we’ve reported it to the council. I spoke to Lancashire County Council (LCC) and they didn’t have any money to help us out. There doesn’t seem to be any funds either that we can apply for to help us out, which is what we’d like to look at.

“The reason we’ve captured it on CCTV is because we’re at the end of our tether, so we had to try and get some cameras up to capture it and prove it.”

Lancashire Telegraph: The cover being vandalisedThe cover being vandalised (Image: Accrington Cricket Club/Twitter)

While the material on the cover can be patched up for now, the arms that support it may need be replaced, which Jonathan estimates to be around £100 a piece.

Access to the cricket pitch can be gained through gaps made in fences from previous vandalism and, though the club has looked at getting these issues rectified, they need financial support and have struggled to find any.

Jonathan added: “There are some areas that don’t have fencing anymore. The latest LCC work on the pathways removed some of these fences which, even though they were only waist height, did us a job as it gave a clear indication of whether it was our land.

“We’ve asked for support with that from them but they declined to help us with any funding to try and make the place a bit more secure.”

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He has also seen the effect proper security can have, with the nearby Stanley Sports Hub boasting strong fencing that means it’s largely inaccessible to those looking to cause trouble.

Funding to copy that is proving hard to come by, but the club is also aware that repeated complaints may backfire on them and leave them with no support at all.

Jonathan said: “Next door to us there’s been a great deal of investment into the Stanley Hub, which has been great for the area. And there’s a reason why kids can’t access that area and vandalise it – because they’ve got good quality fencing.

“They’ve paid for that but we’re in a position where we’re the little guy and we can’t afford to do that. We’re fighting against everything but we don’t want to be too critical of the local authorities because then we might not get anything ever again.”

The constant vandalism has left volunteers at the club feeling helpless and with the lack of financial support to help them overcome these issues, they’re struggling to get anywhere.

Jonathan said: “It’s one thing after another. Every day I come down to the club and there’s something else that’s happened. Whether something has been removed or vandalised, or if the nets have been jumped on or cut up. It makes you feel like you’re on the road to nowhere.

“With a lack of support from others it’s difficult for us to get anywhere with it. We struggle to find a way to get through sometimes because we’ve got no real way of making it good. We’ve got ageing machinery we need to pay for, ageing buildings to pay for. The least of our worries should be repairing covers and damage caused by anti-social behaviour.”

Accrington start their 2023 Lancashire League campaign on Sunday, April 16 when they travel to Nelson. Their first home fixture will be two weeks later when they host East Lancashire.