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Vandals wrecked out football pitches
A YOUTH football club’s season has been thrown into turmoil after boy racers wrecked their home pitches.
Yobs broke through a locked gate to get onto pitches at Old Hall Farm in Stanford-le-Hope - used by Corringham Athletic youth football club.
They raced about and skidded on the grass, cutting and tearing up the club’s playing surfaces.
Members of the club, which has teams for boys aged five up to 16, worked hard reseeding the field’s three pitches over the summer and in recent weeks, opposing teams had commented on just how good the pitches were.
Paul Miles, 36, the Corringham Athletic Youth Football Club secretary, said: “I was gutted.
“It’s not the first time this has happened either. We put in so much time and effort over here. It’s disheartening, you end up thinking why do we bother?”
The pitches at Old Hall Farm, scarred by boy racers' wrecklessness
The club’s teams even train on Woodbroke Way Park in Old Corringham and St Clere’s School in a bid to avoid cutting up their pitches, ensuring they are in the best condition for matches.
On Saturday, Mr Miles went down to the pitches with a local farmer who used a tractor to roll the grass flat.
Mr Miles said: “All the boys at the club were really disappointed. We want the pitches to be pristine so we can play good football on them.
“Two games went ahead on Sunday, but it was just embarrassing having to show the opposition manager and convince him that the pitches were playable.”
Mr Miles, who runs Corringham Athletic under 13s and has two boys playing at the club, added: “I could understand this happening if it was land open to the public, but it’s not. They cut through the lock with bolt croppers so it’s like someone has done it on purpose rather than on a whim.”
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