An Essex non-league football club are feeling the effects of a “soul-destroying” attack on their ground last night (July 24).
Basildon United, members of the Isthmian League North Division, had their pitch and club facilities damaged in an overnight attack.
The south Essex side was burgled by trespassers last night. They damaged the non-league side’s pitch, their sponsorship boards and a burger trailer.
In a statement released on Facebook, chairman David Maxwell and vice-chairman Lee Connor said: “Our club is a small community club that heavily relies on our committee members and volunteers to keep our ground maintained.
“It is soul destroying to see that those who decided to break in las night and cause damage to our pitch, which the owner has worked tirelessly on over the last few months to get ready for when we return.
“All of our sponsorship boards have been destroyed and burnt, and our new burger trailer vandalised.”
They added: “We intend to prosecute personally even if the police do not wish to know.”
The club have offered a reward of £250 to anyone able to provide information that leads to the culprits being caught.
Basildon United latest Essex football club targetted by crime
This is not the first time an Essex non-league club has been targetted by criminals.
Three months ago, at the start of the coronavirus lockdown, Harlow Town’s facilities were ram-raided.
Thieves used a car to damage the club’s exterior before stealing pitch maintenance equipment.
Billericay Town were forced to suspend a number of their home matches in the National League South after vandals damaged their pitch.
In 2017 thieves targetted fellow Essex non-league team Aveley.
On May 31, a defibrillator, electronic scoreboard and more than 40 footballs were stolen from the Millers.
Thousands of pounds of damage was also inflicted upon the club’s facilities.
They had to have work done on the changing rooms, storage rooms, workshop, shower, toilets, and stands.
Anyone who has information in relation to the incident is urged call Essex Police.
Lead Image: Basildon United Football Club