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Police issue statement as players voice disgust over fire at Sheffield Wednesday facility

Police have took to issue a statement as players voice their disgust over a fire which broke out at a Sheffield Wednesday facility.

The League One club’s community football facility has suffered “devastating” damage from a suspected arson attack on Sunday night.

After a car that had been stolen was driven onto the pitch and set on fire on Sunday, firefighters were called to the Jubilee Sports and Social Club in Hillsborough.

It cost less than £1m to build the facility, which opened 22 days ago, after years of planning and fundraising by the Sheffield Wednesday Community Programme (SWFCCP).

Marcus Brameld, a member of the Sheffield Wednesday Community Programme, stated that he was “at loss” to understand why anyone would target this site.

He spoke to BBC Radio Sheffield and said that the attack came around 5:30pm, not long after Sheffield Wednesday Ladies had secured a 5-2 win on there.

“They had cut through the emergency gates with bolt cutters and driven a car on and set it alight and ran off, causing quite a lot of damage to half of the pitch,” he said.

The site as a full-size 3G pitch with floodlights, which was paid for by the foundation through grants, as well as a gym and dressing rooms.

He stated that the pitch had been used to host a tournament for 24 teams of more than 200 youth players. Sheffield Wednesday’s first team also used it earlier in the week. Manager Darren Moore described it as a “fantastic” facility. He said that adding the damage would result in the pitch being closed, but he hoped the pitch would reopen as soon possible.

“People have rallied round,” he said.

“The company that laid the pitch are sending their MD today to have a look at it for us.

“We will get it back up and running and we won’t let these people defeat us.”

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service tweeted an appeal for anyone with any information about the incident to report it.

A spokesperson for the service said: “Upon arrival [firefighters] found a car had been driven onto an astro turf sports pitch and set alight.

“This was dealt with by 18:12 GMT and is thought to have been started deliberately.”

South Yorkshire Police adds that the car was a black Toyota Yaris which had previously been reported as stolen.

A statement released by SWFCCP on Monday afternoon was one of sadness and read: “Everyone here at the Sheffield Wednesday FC Community Programme (SWFCCP) is devastated by events that transpired on Sunday evening at our brand-new Jubilee Sports Facility on Claywheels Lane.

“An abhorrent act of vandalism has seen a wonderful venue temporarily taken from the local community just three weeks after launch.

“Hundreds of people in the local community, from ages as young as three-years-old, have benefited from using the facility in the little time it has been open and we will not allow this crime to deter SWFCCP from delivering high quality community provision in the long term.

“In the short term, however, sessions at the facility will be operating at a reduced capacity until a time when the necessary repairs are complete.”

Anyone who has any information about the incident can contact SYF completely anonymously on 0800 169 5558.

Daniel Pudil, who plays and coaches at the facility, said: “Shame on you !!! Whoever done it ! They will find you soon or later! @SWFCCP. I’m fuming!

Barry Bannan tweeted: “This is a disgrace to do this to such a good place for the community hopefully we find out who it is and justice is served.”

Twitter users reacted as police issue a statement and players voice disgust over the fire at a Sheffield Wednesday facility…

@GrantR_1867: There’s some vile people in this world

@StevenVarley1: I’ve watched them lay these piches down from scratch. Done an amazing job and brought lots of joy since they’ve opened up a few weeks ago. Just for some inbreds to do this! 😡

@evonne_duty: Totally disgusting 😡 only been open a couple of weeks 😒 sadly happens all to often in grassroots football, pitches destroyed and equipment stolen or vandalised.

@Walkertommmy5: Fuck sake what’s wrong with people

@Rachael261078: Absolutely disgraceful, embarrassment to the city whoever did this

@stevefoshfisher: Some pond life about isn’t there

@AndrewMichaelJ5: Let’s get the collection tins out on Hillsboro match days to right this wrong

@ACCardwell04: Just mindless vandalism, it’s the society we live in. So sickening 😡

@juancl78: Absolute disgrace whoever has done this and they need to be named and shamed if found no matter what the age. Unfortunately this is the era we live in where kids cause damage and carry knives about. Genuinely worry about the world my kids are coming into

@grannypatt: Vandalism pure and simple. Disgusting behaviour just spoiling an asset provided by a charity for the benefit of all. Make the punishment for the crime.

@SpeakeasyClub1: Absolutely abhorrent. Disgusting, mindless and terribly worrying. I genuinely want to understand the mindset of people who did this. What’s the motivation. Must be masses of trauma behind their decison making. We’re all behind you @SWFCCP

@70_katylou: F****** scumbags 😡 #SWFC

@BritPen: There really are no words for some people. I mean, why? To what end? What is there to get out of spoiling a facility that the community uses – something that benefits so many people? I just simply do not understand why anyone would do this. #swfc #swfccp

@jackburley77: Now is the time for fans to come together to help, this isn’t for the club nor the chairman, this if for young and older people to play football and enjoy it! real shame to see people of our own city take away something put in place to help all. scum!

@ConnorSmythe3: Lowest of the low, absolutely disgraceful behaviour. All the hard work and time gone into providing a fantastic facility and opportunities for people – devastated for all at @SWFCCP

@dudwood: Needs to be properly investigated @syptweet. Find the perpetrators.

@T_Chappers1997: whoever’s done it should pay for the damages the weasel

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