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Havering’s oldest youth football club, The Essex Minors Of Hornchurch are latest victims of metal thefts

PUBLISHED: 09:00 23 November 2011

Archant

The future of Havering’s oldest youth football team is looking uncertain after becoming the latest victims of metal thieves.

The Essex Minors Of Hornchurch fear that they may be forced to close after their goal posts have been stolen twice in two months from Bretons Outdoor Centre in Elm Park.

The Chairman of the club, Andrew Kelly said: “We are all really upset about it because it is becoming a really big problem and they are really depriving the children of playing football and enjoying sport.”

In the latest incident, the club which has been running since 1968 had seven goal posts, each costing around between £200 and £300 stolen three weeks ago.

It came just weeks after the club had paid out for new goal posts after an earlier theft a month before.

Since the latest theft, the club which has 250 young people on its books, have had to change fixtures and have been forced to play at other teams out of the borough.

Mr Kelly said: “Its impossible because we can’t play football without goal posts.

“All we want is for these metal thieves to stop stealing our goal posts because it is having a really bad affect on our young people.”

The club is now holding a range of fundraising events to try to replace the goal posts.

They have also appealed for help from Sport England, but they fear that they may be forced to scrap trophies for the young people for their presentation evening.

As a last resort the club say that they will be forced to close next season, but they are also looking into relocating to another borough.

Mr Kelly said: “We have been providing youth football for over 40 years and it would be a real shame if we had to close just because of these metal thieves.

“Its very difficult because we can’t keep asking the parents for more money because they pay out enough as it is, it’s a shame because we think that the work we do in the community is vital in keeping young boys off the streets.”


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