A village football club is reeling after intruders broke into its sports pavilion and stole a ride-on mower.
It’s the second time in as many years that Holbeach Bank Football Club has been targeted after copper piping, shower heads and a hot water tank were previously stolen.
This time, intruders struck overnight between Friday and Saturday when they forced open one of the pavilion’s doors and stole a Westwood ride-on mower and brush used by club groundsman Robert Shortland.
“I came down on Saturday lunchtime and found that we’d been broken into because the ride-on mower we use to roll the pitch and cut it in the winter had gone,” Robert said.
“We think it was professionals, rather than kids, who did it.
“I’m guessing that they used a vehicle to push the gate and slip the lock before they broke into every room in the pavilion looking for things.
“The mower and brush is the only thing we know that was actually stolen but we’re getting fed up with people breaking in, leaving a mess and costing us money.”
The football club, which plays in the Boston and District Football League, spent about £1,500 replacing the copper piping previously stolen with plastic piping, but they are facing a £75,000 bill to renovate or replace the pavilion which was built in 1943.
Robert said: “The club has been established since the 1930s and we’ve hardly ever asked for anything down the years.
“The pavilion has been signed over to us by the parish council on a 25-year lease because they think we stand a better chance of getting grants.
“But our appeals seem to fall on deaf ears and we don’t seem to be able to get any help to either repair or replace the pavilion which needs to be totally rewired and an asbestos roof that’s out of date and leaks.
“If we can get a new pavilion, there would be a function room for anyone in the village who would like to use it.
“There’s no village hall in Holbeach Bank so the function room would be used for the community, as much as it would be for the football club.”
Club committee member David Dickinson said: “We’re fighting our hearts out to keep the club going and then we get this break-in which knocks us back again.”
Anyone with information should call 101, stating incident 221 of May 4.