PHOTOS: Damage revealed after 20 youths attack Leeds club with firework and bricks during 16th birthday party

The smashed window at the club
The smashed window at the club
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The president of a club which came under attack by a group of youths on Friday has told of the moment he barricaded customers inside the club.

Stephen Firth, voluntary club president at Rowland Road Social Club, Beeston, was helping put on a 16th birthday party in the club when a firework was lobbed onto the patio outside.

The firework that landed on the club's patio

The firework that landed on the club's patio

He said: "It was a 320-shot Roman candle which landed on the patio. There were a few people outside smoking at the time who moved out the way."

Mr Firth then called 101 at about 10.25pm on Friday night to report the incident, but the firework throwers had fled the scene, so he advised West Yorkshire Police not to attend.

A short time later, a group of 'about 20' youths, aged about 15 to 17, then gathered in a corner near the club.

Mr Firth had posted on social media that the youths were wearing balaclavas, but after inspecting the CCTV, he says he thinks the youths actually had scarves wrapped round their faces.

The smashed window at the club

The smashed window at the club

He said that the youths then hurled bricks and stones at the door, smashing the double glazed glass.

He added: "I rang 999 at 10.50pm and told them what was happening and that a few people inside the club wanted to go out and tackle them.

"The police told me to lock the doors and not to let anyone in or out, and they were on their way."

But police never arrived at the scene, says Mr Firth.

Rowlands Club

Rowlands Club

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police confirmed that the force did not attend until 12.40pm on Saturday, when officers attended to record details of the damage.

Mr Firth added: "Needless to say, nobody showed up. We kept the doors locked and eventually taxis and cars began arriving to take people home.

"We then checked with cars and taxis to make sure we could account for who they were, then we escorted people to cars in groups.

"By 12.15am the club was cleared, so I went home, and posted on Facebook about the incident."

Mr Firth played down his bravery in the situation, adding: "The actions of myself and all the staff stopped it escalating. I was frightened, but I knew they wouldn't get through that door.

"It's a heavy duty steel door and it was locked as well as bolted."

He added that he has 'no idea' why the youths picked on Rowlands Social Club, but that there is not usually trouble in the area.

Did you witness the incident? Call police on 101.

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