Vandals’ foul play hits amateur Leeds rugby league club

Paul Thorpe, club chairman of Hunslet Club Parkside. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
Paul Thorpe, club chairman of Hunslet Club Parkside. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
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Officials at an amateur rugby club have been left counting the cost after fencing designed to stop dogs fouling the pitch was kicked in by vandals.

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Hunslet Club Parkside had to install fencing around its pitch at Hillidge Road to comply with National Conference League regulations.

It added panels under the railings to prevent dogs getting onto the turf to go to the toilet.

But the club is now facing a bill of hundreds of pounds after repeated attacks by vandals.

Club chairman Paul Thorpe said: “The cost to replace the panels will be near £500 – a huge amount of money for an amateur club to have to pay out of funds which should be being channelled to helping the junior section of the club, keeping youngsters off the streets and providing development for young people through physical and mental activities that will help them reach there full potential.”

Mr Thorpe said the club, which has six junior teams and three open age sides, had suffered intermittent problems after putting the fencing up earlier this year but the issue had then died down.

However, in the last week more than 30 of the panels have been destroyed in a series of incidents.

Police have now said they will patrol the area in an effort to prevent further attacks.

Mr Thorpe said: “We’re fairly sure it’s purely wanton vandalism.

“You spend all this time trying to build up the club and putting in a lot of time and effort and they just come along and do this.

“It’s heartbreaking really and all they’re doing is ruining it for the kids.”

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