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Floodlights at Swaffham Town FC’s ground shot out by vandals

PUBLISHED: 09:41 26 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:41 26 September 2018

Swaffham Town players on the pitch. Several floodlights on the club's grounds have been vandalised. Picture: Katherine Wright

Swaffham Town players on the pitch. Several floodlights on the club's grounds have been vandalised. Picture: Katherine Wright

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Vandals may have used a gun or a catapult to smash the glass in several floodlights at Swaffham Town FC’s ground.

However, the club’s cup match against local rivals King’s Lynn Reserves went ahead last night.

As they used the floodlights without the glass covers, club secretary Ray Ewart was worried that, if there was any rain or mist, they could explode. But they got away with it, and won 1-0 to go through to the next round of the Thurlow Nunn League Cup.

Mr Ewart said the club in Shoemakers Lane had suffered from vandalism before with broken bottles and glass on the pitch, but not like this.

He said he could have cried when he heard the news, which will set the club back financially, and could have consequences for the rest of the season.

He said: “I was absolutely gutted. The club floodlights were targeted causing considerable damage at a cost still to be determined last week.

“Five of the six floodlight columns have had their lights taken out by either a gun or catapult.

“Thousands, if not millions, of glass fragments showered the ground, some falling onto our football pitch, some onto the neighbouring bowls green.

“It took six volunteers two hours to remove as many of the fragments that could be found from the playing surface to get the game on for that afternoon’s fixture.

“Due to the age of the lights it is not sure if replacement components are available and there is the obvious disadvantage of their location, 50ft in the air requiring access equipment and potential damage to the pitch.

“This will set the club back financially and looking forward may have further implications for our playing season, the Under 18s playing mid-week football and our progression into the FA Vase competition.”

A Norfolk police spokesman said: “It happened between September 18 and 21. Suspects have smashed the glass on several of the floodlights surrounding the football pitch.”

The senior team plays in the 1st Division of the Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League and it also run a Reserves, Under 18s, Veterans and several youth sides.

If anyone can support the club with the repairs, contact them via www.swaffhamtownfc.co.uk or on Facebook.

Anyone with information should call Norfolk police quoting the reference 36/58916/18.

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