Burglars forced their way in to a community sports centre and stole funds from a junior rugby team.
The thieves smashed through a fire door at the back of Lock Lane Rugby League Club and Sports Centre and took cash from the building’s office and reception area.
The money had been raised by parents and sponsors of the junior rugby teams and was to be invested back into providing and maintaining sports facilities for the youngsters, aged seven to 17, and the local community.
Mick Wildey, rugby club chairman, said: “It is going to be hard work to replace our losses, funds that should have gone towards upkeep of a local club and providing facilities for local kids and the community alike.
“At a not-for-profit club like ours most of the work is done by unpaid volunteers, then someone comes along and does this.
“I just don’t understand how heartless some people can be.”
Manager Derry Barnes said the club and sports centre would now need to pay for repairs to the damaged building.
The rugby club had recently made history by becoming the first amateur club to make it through to the final 24 of the Challenge Cup.
Police said they were called to reports of a burglary at the club on Saturday, March 26 at 8.30pm.
Contact police on 101.