Vandals smash up Cheltenham Saracens tea rooms and ticket booth
VANDALS targeted a community football club's tea and changing rooms, causing hundreds of pounds of damage just days before the start of the new season.
Committee members at Cheltenham Saracens Football Club were left shocked after vandals broke in twice in the space of two days.
During the first burglary, they smashed up the tea room and stole food, drink and footballs worth £25 each, as well as a wall clock.
The next day, a break-in saw a changing room trashed at the club's ground in St Peter's.
Gents, come in to Earl's & Co and enjoy a haircut and finish, glass of whisky and a shoeshine for £18.50
Terms: Later and earlier appointments available upon request
Contact: 01242 504887
Valid until: Tuesday, December 31 2013
Director of football Brian Dix had made sure the lock was welded on after the first break-in at the tea room on Tuesday.
But vandals managed to force their way in again the following night.
They sprayed vulgar graffiti on the walls of the changing room and made off with another wall clock and a stereo set which helps the players get pumped up before matches.
Mr Dix said: "It is just disgraceful. I can't believe they have done it twice in two days, and they just took everything with them.
"When they came back the second night, it was like an act of defiance.
"After stealing the stuff in the tea room and the changing room, they smashed all the glasses and cups, and then drew on the walls.
"We are just a community club and we had to band together quickly to make sure the repairs were done in time for the first match."
The damage cost the volunteers at the club around £500 to repair and they also had to buy new kitchen utensils for the tea room.
Despite this, the first team triumphed in their Hellenic League game, winning 3-1 against Oxford City Nomads.
Mr Dix said the team had bonded together to ensure the events of the past week did not affect their performance.
He said: "What happened was horrible, but what we have here is a great team spirit, and a willingness to push on together.
"The players were not about to let it put them dow and it did help them focus to put out a good result for the fans.
"We had a very good turnout for the first game of the season, and the support has been great since we started letting people know about the break ins.
"We are all for bringing sport to the community, and working with them, but sometimes it is very difficult when something like that happens.
"It is like a slap in the face really, but we will move on from here."
Anyone with information about the break-ins should call Gloucestershire police on 101.