MINDLESS metal thieves trashed a St Helens football club’s changing rooms less than a week before the start of the season.
Overnight raiders ripped out a water boiler and copper piping, leaving Penlake Juniors FC’s changing rooms in “a right mess”.
The thieves also stole a tea urn and smashed tiles in the raid at the Beeches playing fields, off Sutton Road.
Penlake Juniors coach Tony Cosgrove said: “The lads are all absolutely gutted. These thieves have smashed our changing rooms to pieces.
“We’ve had to call the league to let them know that we’ve not got any changing facilities anymore.
“I can’t believe it. We’ve all worked so hard to get the club to where it is, but I don’t know what the future holds for us now.”
The thieves cut through a metal security door to break into the changing rooms sometime last Monday night (August 20).
The repair bill is expected to run into thousands of pounds.
In their efforts to rip out the copper piping, part of the ceiling was also pulled down. Just hours earlier Penlake teams had been training at the site as normal, before leaving early to watch the Everton vs Manchester United football game on TV.
Mr Cosgrove, who manages the Penlake Juniors under 7s, added: “The changing rooms were in a right mess when we got there the following day. They were so bad that we had check it was safe to go in first.
“The police sent out forensic teams to search for fingerprints but I think all they’ve found so far are some trainer marks.”
A police spokesman confirmed that an investigation into the burglary had been launched.
He said: “Officers were called last Tuesday evening (August 21) to The Beeches on Sutton Road to a report that a copper boiler and copper piping had been stolen from the premises.
“An investigation into the matter is now underway.”
Anyone with information should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555 111.