IT is the strangest case to emerge in the current spate of metal thefts, bar none.
Thieves have made off with the crossbars of goalposts used by a team of a young footballers, putting their new season in jeopardy.
Members of Easthouses Football Club in Midlothian are facing a race against time to find two new sets of goalposts following the bizarre theft from a metal container in Easthouses Park last week – just days before the start of the soccer sevens season.
Around 30 children aged 8-11 could now face having to miss out, with replacement goals likely to cost between £500 and £800 each.
Club chairman Stuart Maclean said he did not hold out much hope of securing two new sets in time for the season starting.
He said: “They stole the four aluminium crossbars and left the nets and goalposts, which we found quite strange.
“The strangest thing is that in the container where everything is kept, there are brass bars too, which we thought they would have taken if they were maybe looking to make a bit of money. We checked everywhere – in the hedges and bushes – but couldn’t find the crossbars anywhere.
“This is going to cause us a major problem so close to the start of the season. We have three soccer sevens teams and they normally play two home games and one away on a Sunday.
“We have managed to get a temporary solution, which is more like five-a-side goals, from Newbattle High School, but they’re not the proper ones we need. We still need new goals for the start of the season.”
The 32-year-old added: “I would ask local businesses or anybody that can help to donate. We just don’t have that sort of money – we are only a small club.
“We will just have to keep using the goalposts we have got at the moment but it’s not practical using them in the long term.”
Mr Maclean said he would consider organising some sort of fundraiser if the community wasn’t able to help fund the total cost of the two replacement goalposts.
The father-of-three, whose son Lauchlan, nine, plays in one of the club’s seven-a-side teams, said the thieves appeared to have smashed at the handle and padlock on the container with a hammer.
“The container is in the middle of the park where the pitches are, so you would think someone would have seen them walking up the street with the crossbars, unless they went through the woods,” he said.
“The corner flags had been taken out and chucked into the woods but the nets were still in the container.
“I was gutted to be honest because obviously there are kids from eight years upwards who can’t play football without goals.”