Football club receives donations after pitch vandalism
A thriving Suffolk football club has received two kind-hearted gestures after vandals damaged two pitches and forced youth games to be postponed.
Volunteers at Stowupland Falcons FC were dismayed after quad bike vandals left tyre tracks on the field overnight on Saturday, November 2, causing the cancellation of Sunday youth fixtures.
But after hearing of the club's plight in this newspaper, Malcolm Birt, from Ipswich, came forward to donate a roller to the club to help with repairs as well as a cheque for £50.
The club also received a £100 donation towards pitch repairs from neighbouring club Mendlesham FC.
In an email, Mendlesham chairman Tim Mack said he was "appalled" by the vandalism.
He said: "It is difficult enough keeping a football club funded and volunteer rich without having to deal with such mindless vandalism."
Pete Mayhew, Stowupland Falcons chairman, said: "It was a really nice thing for Malcolm to do.
"It came out of the blue and he phoned up and said he wanted to help.
"He said he'd been involved with local football in his younger days and that the roller was more use to us than it was to him.
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"He also donated £50 towards repairs which was really kind."
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Mr Mayhew added that the donation from Mendlesham FC showed that grass roots football "had come together".
"There can be a little bit of rivalry between clubs," he said. "But it's nice to know that when it comes to the crunch, they wanted to help out a fellow football club.
"Ultimately, we are all trying to do the same thing and bring football to the people.
"Everyone talks about money in football, but let me tell you, there isn't much at the grass roots level.
"£100 is a lot of money to Mendlesham and it's such a kind thing for them to do.
"I think it shows that people do come together."
Mr Mayhew said that due to the extensive rain in the past week, the club has so far been unable to work on the pitches.
"The games were called off due to the weather this weekend and so we haven't been able to roll it yet.
"We are hoping to get on there at some stage on Sunday and get them ready for next weekend," he added.