A JUNIOR football team used by hundreds of Ilkeston youngsters was faced with cancelling matches after it was attacked by mindless vandals.
That was until kind-hearted joiner Dave Harvey saved the day, offering his services free of charge and bringing Ilkeston Juniors FC back up to scratch over the two weeks before Christmas.
Club secretary Dominique Smith has blasted the thugs who she said have broken in to the Awsworth Road club year after year and caused hundreds of pounds of damage.
In last month’s attack, they tipped a portable toilet over and smeared chemicals from it all over the changing rooms.
The vandals, who Dominique suspects are young people, also kicked doors in and bent railings to get to the club.
“I know there isn’t that much to do for kids around here but we are trying to put something on for them,” said Dominique.
“Year after year it’s an issue and it costs us money we just don’t have.”
League rules state that if the club does not have facilities up and running, including changing rooms, they cannot host games, which would have forced the club to pull out of leagues, including Derby City and the Elizabethan league.
“The other option would have been finding a suitable pitch, which is near impossible in Erewash,” added Dominique.
“It would have been a nightmare.”
But when joiner Dave, who works for Awsworth-based Village Construction, heard about the mess the club was in, he did the work for free.
And Dominique was full of gratitude for his help.
“It just makes you realise that there are actually nice people out there that will help you out,” she said. “All of us at the club want to give Dave a big thank you.”
She explained that the club, which is financially independent from the adult club Ilkeston FC, only just keeps afloat, keeping costs at a minimum for the more than 200 youngster aged from under six to 18, most of whom live in Ilkeston – meaning the £400 they had to shell out on materials has really hit their coffers hard.