OFFICIALS at one of South Tyneside’s leading football clubs have cried foul after being left to repair damage caused by a would-be burglar.
Staff at Jarrow Roofing were shocked to find smashed gates and doors when they turned up for a training session at their ground in Boldon Colliery this week.
As they surveyed the damage, a man believed to have been responsible for the raid, was trying to scramble under a fence.
Club secretary Bryn Griffiths said: “When we turned up at the ground, we noticed the lock had been damaged and the storeroom had been broken into.
“Then we spotted someone lying on the ground with his head under the fence. We went over and apprehended him until the police arrived.”
The damage, which happened at about 6.30pm on Wednesday, is estimated to run into hundreds of pounds to repair, biting into club finances.
It also left club owner Richie McLoughlin and staff facing a race against time to ensure tomorrow’s Northern League Division Two home game with Heaton Stannington went ahead, with the attendance set to be boosted by a host of visiting ‘groundhoppers’.
Mr Griffiths added: “It is disappointing what’s happened and deflating to Richie and the rest of the guys as they all work hard for the good of the club.
“We recently had a ground inspection and was graded ‘G’ which means we can go for the next level.
“It’s disappointing that money we should be spending on improving the grounds is now being spent on repairs.”
* A 53-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of burglary and is currently helping police with inquiries.