Eccleshall are the latest club to be counting the cost of a break-in, after the Pershall Park clubhouse was targeted over the weekend.
Both Colne and Silsden have suffered recently at the hands of local criminals, and now Eccleshall face a daunting job to carry out repairs and replace expensive equipment.
Club Secretary Jim Tunney explained: “The metal ‘up and over’ garage door at the entrance was forced and bent to a 90 degree angle to gain entry. The groundsman discovered the damage when he went to the ground on Monday morning.
“Two mowers used to keep the outfield perimeter tidy were taken, ironically, one of the mowers had just been repaired and serviced.
“Also taken was our hydraulic equipment for lowering the floodlight columns when we need to either replace blown bulbs or starters, or clean the lenses and carry out general maintenance.
“This was most recently used when one of the columns had lighting unit damage, resulting in the postponement of our match against Cheadle Town on 18th November. Replacing it will not be cheap, and it is an essential piece of kit for our club.
“The thieves also took the gas bottles used to power the heating and the showers, in spite of the fact they were bracketed and chained to the clubhouse wall. These had only been installed two weeks ago.
“Although the thieves broke into our kit cupboard, fortunately nothing appears to have been taken”.
The club’s second team match on Wednesday and the under 18s game on Thursday have had to be cancelled as a result, and club officials are now working to ensure the home match against St Helens Town goes ahead as planned on Saturday.
Jim added: “It is hard enough trying to raise money to keep clubs going at our level, without having to use scarce funds to repair unnecessary damage and replace valuable equipment.
“Like all clubs, we rely and run on voluntary help and it is soul destroying to see our efforts wrecked in such a way.
“You could not have printed my thoughts when I heard the news yesterday but now we have to look forward and keep going as best as we can. As with our colleagues at Colne and Silsden, any help out there would be greatly appreciated”.