VANDALS caused hundreds of pounds of damage when they smashed the window of a kiosk and knocked over brickwork at a dugout at Lymington Town Football Club.
The damage was discovered at the Sports Ground, off Southampton Road, by former first team manager Nicholas Flower yesterday (Thursday) morning.
He said he was “staggered” and estimated it was worth around £500. There were also a number of used laughing gas canisters found in the dugout.
“I run a small construction company and know it’s a big effort to move the brickwork – it would have taken a good few swings that’s for sure. I just don’t understand it,” Nicholas (56) told the A&T.
“To be honest I’m not sure when it happened – it could have been overnight at some point last week.
“They’ve targeted the kiosk and the dugout and there were cans of laughing gas left in the dugout. I’m pretty staggered really.”
Mr Flower continued: “I have a good friend at the club, John Pyatt, and I know his background, what he’s been through and all the hard work and man hours he has given to that club to get it where it is, and I think these kids should know about that.
“They just do not seem to think do they? It’s a shame.”
He added: “I’ll park my van on the pitch and do some work to mend it, free of charge. It will help them out and I’m willing to do it.”
However, he said he probably would not be reporting the matter to Hampshire Police as he did not think they could do anything.
He said: “I haven’t seen a copper in the town probably for a year. They are just so short staffed. They do not do small cases now. They haven’t got time.”
But a Hampshire Police spokesman said people should report any crime or anti-social behaviour through the 101 number or 999 in an emergency.
“If we do not know about it, we cannot do anything about it,” he said. “Even the smallest bit of information can help us build a better picture of what’s happening, so we can target our resources appropriately.”
He added: “While this incident has not been reported to us, we are aware of reports of similar incidents of anti-social behaviour. Officers routinely patrol this area and will continue to do so over the summer.
The spokesman pointed out the neighbourhood policing team were based at the station nearby and officers regularly call into Lymington.
“We aim to do our very best with the resources we have available to reduce to levels of threat, harm and risk to our local communities,” he added.
There have long been incidents of anti-social behaviour and vandalism at the ground such as the stand suffering fire damage and the wooden seats being covered in graffiti.
The latest provoked fury online and prompted calls for something more to be done to prevent it.
Former Lymington Town striker Roy Viner said on Facebook that the club was considering putting up a bar in front of the stand to try to block vandals.
CCTV had been destroyed or the images were unusable, he said, while youngsters there had been spoken to numerous times.
“I don’t get the mentality of it, they go there to meet, drink, smoke, etc, then destroy the very place that enables them to do it. Had it out with them on so many match days and it’s always ‘never them’,” Mr Viner added.
The football club is not scheduled to host a game for a few weeks since it shares the field with the cricket club, whose season does not end until late August.