Football club launches fundraiser after arsonists burn down ticket booth
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
A Framlingham grassroots football club has launched an online fundraiser after a ticket booth at its ground was scorched by arsonists.
A wooden booth at the Framlingham Sports and Football Club ground in Badingham Road, home to volunteer-run Framlingham Town FC, was set alight at around 6.30pm last Wednesday.
Police and fire crews attended the blaze, which happened as several youth players from the club were at a training session elsewhere at the ground.
The fire spread to a nearby fence, with Suffolk police confirming officers were treating the incident as arson.
Suffolk police has said no arrests have been made in connection with the incident and is urging any potential witnesses to come forward.
Framlingham Town chairman Dean Warner said the fire was "very frustrating and very disappointing" after the club has struggled through the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Warner has now launched a GoFundMe page in a bid to raise funds to cover the costs of the damage.
The GoFundMe page said: "It goes without saying that this event has caused the club much upset, anger, stress and frustration, especially with the unprecedented times everyone has endured and continues to endure with Covid-19.
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"Like all grassroots sports clubs, the ability to fundraise has been severely curtailed with the previous 10 months being very hard, made worse by the restrictions on refreshments and alcohol sales on match days."
The fundraiser has a target of £5,000 and secured more than £1,000 in donations in the first day it went live, with the club planning to put the money towards building a more permanent structure to replace the wooden booth.
Mr Warner said the club has struggled to maintain an income this year due to a combination of cancelled matches and restrictions on social gatherings.
However, he paid tribute to everyone who has donated to the GoFundMe page since it went online.
Mr Warner said: "Everyone at the club is pretty upset about this.
"We don't want to build another wooden booth so someone can set fire to it again. Hopefully we'll get to the target and make the ground more secure.
"It has been a tremendous effort from all of our supporters and donators."