'The generosity has been overwhelming': Leeds United and business community come to rescue of community football club devastated by £5,000 burglary
Leeds United and local businesses have come to the rescue of a community football club left devastated when burglars stole £5,000 worth of kids' kit and equipment
Leeds Hyde Park FC launched an urgent fundraising appeal after their plans for the new season were thrown into disarray by the callous criminals.
The club's storage unit in Headingley, which contained kit worn by 15 junior teams and four adult teams, was burgled on May 30.Other equipment including goals, footballs, bibs and training equipment was also taken during the break-in.
The plea for help was answered by Leeds United and the local business community who have come forward with funding, kit and new equipment.
Club founder Adel Chermiti said: "The support from everyone has been has been amazing. The generosity has been overwhelming.
"We have had donations from about 200 people and have managed to raise all the funding we needed.
"As soon as Leeds United heard about what happened they were in touch to donate kit and offer their support and advice.
"The kids are all so happy that they can look forward to the new season.
"A massive thank you must go to Sukhvir Thethi from Avtar Properties for their generous donation.
"And a big thank you to Terry Porter from Leeds United."
Adel said the club had also been given support from West Riding County FA and local councillors.
The club's women's teams also raised £1,000 by organising a Hyde Park Euros competition.
Speaking after the break-in six weeks ago, Adel said: "It is heartbreaking that anyone could be so selfish.
"They have taken about 80 per cent of everything we had. They have only left the second hand stuff behind.
"We are all devastated right now. This has happened just as we are coming out of lockdown and everyone was looking forward to playing again.
"The club is at the heart of the community. We sacrifice a lot of time to better the community.
"During lockdown we handed out food parcels to families. We also provide students and locals with a safe, friendly environment to play the game that they love."
Other equipment stolen included cricket sets and tennis equipment which club volunteers planned to use to put on activities for youngsters on Woodhouse Moor during the summer months.
Leeds Hyde Park FC run 15 junior teams between the ages of five and 16 years of age as well as two men's teams and two women's teams.
Adel added: "We established the club four years ago because there was a real need to help young people in the LS6 area and provide them with structured activities.
"Our ethos is that we never turn anyone away and will always provide access for young people to play in a safe environment.