Club left on its knees by vandals

The Edina Hibs squad with the burnt-out remains of the lawnmower
The Edina Hibs squad with the burnt-out remains of the lawnmower
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A BOYS’ football club has warned it may be forced to relocate after the latest in a string of vandal attacks left it “on its knees”.

Edina Hibs, which has been coaching youngsters in the Capital for more than 40 years, is considering moving away from Bingham and The Jewel after a petrol lawnmower and container were destroyed in a deliberate fire, leaving the club £6500 out of pocket.

The cash-strapped club said it has been hit by £11,000 of bills in three years as a direct result of malicious attacks.

Club chairman Scott Bonar said: “Edina Hibs is on its knees.

“It’s just a constant battle to get anywhere, some of the coaches want to leave because of it – one of them already has because he’s had enough.”

The latest incident is believed to have taken place at 1.30am on Sunday.

Mr Bonar, who has been involved with the club for 35 years, added: “We were all down at Newcastle at the weekend for a tournament and someone from the club phoned to say the container had been burnt out – it’s just gutting.

“There’s a lot of good people living here and I’m not down on the area, but because of these problems our club is now at the point that we cannot afford to stay in the area and we are having to seriously look at re-housing it.”

Mr Bonar said the club purchased the £4500 lawnmower because the council failed to cut the grass frequently enough, leaving pitches unplayable one out of every three weeks.

The cost of the damage will be met by the club, which could not get insurance given the postcode where the lawnmower was kept.

“We feel we have had a real lack of support from the police – they just say there’s nothing they can do,” said Mr Bonar.

“I’m not sure where we could move to because we would have to look at the facilities. We could lose a lot of kids because their families don’t have cars.”

Willie Black, 46, volunteered to mow the grass weekly for the club as his nine-year-old grandson, Daryl Williamson, plays for the club. He said: “The club had just raised the funds to pay for this lawnmower and it will be a struggle to pay for another. We really hope a company out there might give us one in exchange for displaying their logo.”

In February, the News reported Edina Hibs’ playing fields at The Jewel had been stripped of their turf during work to upgrade the sewage system, throwing the club’s ability to compete in the Lothian Buses South East League into doubt.

A police spokesman said: “Officers are conducting a robust inquiry to identify those responsible for this malicious act of destruction.”