Anger as vandals target primary school football pitches

Damaged goalpost on the astro pitches at Pinkie. Picture: Greg Macvean
Damaged goalpost on the astro pitches at Pinkie. Picture: Greg Macvean
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STAFF at a youth football club have hit out after vandals badly damaged two of their goalposts in a “wanton act of destruction”.

Players at Musselburgh Windsor could now be faced with weeks of disruption after vandals targeted the club over the Christmas break.

Unknown hoodlums damaged two goalposts – one beyond repair – at the club’s Pinkie Road grounds in St Peter’s Primary School.

Pictures of the damaged 11-a-side goals on the 3G pitch show torn netting and the metal posts bent in a number of places.

David Steel, who coaches the club’s under 10s, said the damage was found when a parent headed along for a Christmas Day kickabout with their child.

Mr Steel, 41, said it was not the first time the club had been targeted by vandals. He said: “It’s disappointing but I’m not actually that surprised.

“There has been a few incidents over the past year, like the astro getting set on fire so that had a big burnt bit in it.

“It’s one of the last astroturf facilities around that’s not under lock and key.

“It’s brilliant, so the last thing we want is the council putting up a padlock and a fence. What we’d ideally like is CCTV.”

Mr Steel, who has been coaching at the club for just under five years, said the most “galling” aspect was the fact the vandals had targeted a much-loved community club.

He said: “We have four to five hundred kids within the club who use Pinkie and the facilities. Everybody in the community knows Musselburgh Windsor and most people want their kids to play football with Musselburgh Windsor.

“I really just don’t want them to do it again.”

Police have confirmed they are making enquiries and have appealed for anyone with information to get in touch.

Club president John Hood said it was a shame to see what had happened but said he had already been contacted by other football clubs from the Capital with offers of help.

He said: “The response from the public and other organisations has been absolutely fantastic. Everyone has come together saying what a total wanton act of destruction.”

Mr Hood agreed that the club would be keen to enter discussions with East Lothian Council about whether or not it might be possible to get CCTV cameras installed over the grounds.

“The goal furthest away from the houses is really destroyed and that takes a lot of work to do that,” he added.

A Police Scotland spokesman said they were investigating the incident and appealed for the community to help.

They said: “Police in East Lothian received a report of vandalism to goal posts in the grounds of St Peter’s Primary School, Pinkie Road, Musselburgh.

“The incident happened at some point between Sunday, December 24 and Monday, December 25. Anyone with information that can assist officers with their inquiries is asked to contact 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 quoting incident number 1615 of December 26.”