DRINK and drug-fuelled yobs smashed up a football club’s dugout causing hundreds of pounds of damage.
The gang of teens also left broken glass from vodka and cider bottles scattered across Craigroyston FC’s pitch at St Mark’s Park, Warriston.
Club officials told how Friday night’s mayhem was the latest vandalism attack in a spate going back years.
“It happened sometime on Friday evening, between 6pm and 8am because I was there until after 5pm and everything was OK,” said committee member Bob Currie. “There’s a squad of youths who drink and act up but not usually too bad but on Friday they’ve obviously had too much alcohol and been smoking dope.”
The gang of up to ten 14 and 15-year-old girls and boys are thought to have jumped up and down on the roof of the brick and timber away dug-out until it collapsed.
“It looks like they’ve climbed onto the dugout. It’s a mixed group so there’s lots of bravado and alcohol-fumed aggravation.
“We’ve had trouble before with ongoing problems over the years with other forms of vandalism but this has reached a point where it’s beyond a joke,” said Mr Currie.
He said other “mindless” attacks over the last five years included an attempt to break into the snack hut and another dugout set on fire.
“It gets worse as the nights get lighter,” said Mr Currie. “Because it’s secluded they’re not usually seen so they hide in the dugouts.”
Mr Currie has been quoted up to £400 to rebuild the structure with the club, run on a shoestring, reliant on generous support to fix the damage.
“It’s a big blow to us,” said Mr Currie. “We’ll have to speak to a few of our regular sponsors to see if they can help.
“We had a game on Saturday so there was a big clean-up operation because there was broken glass on the pitch – vodka bottles and cherry cider bottles,” said Mr Currie.
“The police told me to leave it until they came but they didn’t come until Sunday and I had to clean it up for health and safety reasons.”
Despite the damage, Craigroyston went on to seal a 3-1 win against Fife-based Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts.
“We apologised but they didn’t make a song and dance about it because they’ve had issues with vandalism themselves,” said Mr Currie. “Fortunately, it was a lovely day.”
Officials have now installed CCTV cameras to deter any repeat while police confirmed officers are investigating.
Craigroyston are one of the youngest clubs in membership of the East of Scotland Football Association – only founded in 1976.
The attack comes as the club work on improving the facilities available at St Marks – seeking donations of portable buildings from supportive businesses.
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “On Saturday, February 23, police in Edinburgh received a report of vandalism to the dugout area of a football ground in Warriston Road. Inquiries are ongoing.”