Barry Athletic Club: Thieves take pumps and leave pitches waterlogged
POSTPONED: Water was being pumped from the pitches to enable youngsters to play football again as soon as possible.
CHRISTMAS night thieves who stole two water pumps from Barry Athletic Club have been branded ‘heartless’.
The pumps, along with 7metres of bright yellow hose, were stolen between 7pm on Christmas Night and 9am on Boxing Day.
They had been left running overnight, in a ditch between the tennis courts and car park, in a bid to drain the waterlogged Island pitches, so that junior football could be played again as soon as possible.
Rhys Howell, grounds manager assistant at Barry Athletic Club, discovered the theft on Boxing Day morning. "I had a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach," he said.
"The club now has to pay to replace them and the club hasn’t got the money.
"The thieves aren’t worried about the nuisance they cause to other people."
Ian Gadd, Secretary of Barry Athletic CC, said he was ‘devastated’ when he discovered the theft.
"Like many other clubs we run on a tight budget," he said.
"Long term it’s going to have implications for both the football and cricket, as both are based there.
"I’m just thinking of the damage the lying water is doing."
The club alternates between football and cricket during the winter and summer months, and most affected are the football teams who currently play on the pitch on Saturdays.
"It’s not covered by the insurance,” added Mr Gadd.
"We are looking at more than £100 to replace two pumps, and it’s money that we don’t have.
"The ground being under water is also causing damage to the grass long term, so it will affect us further down the line."
Barry Athletic Club and local police both appealed for anyone with any information about the thefts to come forward.
"We hope it might prick someone’s conscience, and the pumps could be returned," said Mr Gadd.
"We are a non-profit-making sporting club and, as with so many other sporting clubs, finances are limited.
"It’s very unlikely that we will be able to replace the pumps before the end of the season."
* Anyone who saw any suspicious activity, or who knows the whereabouts of the stolen property, should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.