Anger after brand new £170k Halifax sports pitches are targeted by vandals

Footage of youths laughing as a car speeds across the pitch was obtained by club members.
Footage of youths laughing as a car speeds across the pitch was obtained by club members.

A yet-to-be opened sports facility that stands to benefit hundreds of Calderdale children has been the target of vandals.

A group of youths took time out of their half-term holidays to perform wheelies and drive over the freshly-laid playing fields at the Illingworth Sports & Social Club site on Keighley Road yesterday.

The pitch has been badly damaged, with trenches cut several inches deep.

The pitch has been badly damaged, with trenches cut several inches deep.

The facility is the result of a project spanning ten years of hard work by volunteers and cost £170,000 in grants.

The main eleven-a-side pitch, to be used by Crossley AFC at both junior and senior level as well as Illingworth ARLFC, has been laid in time for use next season.

Crossley Juniors AFC chairman Martin Armstrong said it was a blow to the volunteers that had worked so hard to pull the project together.

"It's frustrating," he said, "the fact is that this is going to benefit a lot of people. We've worked hard for this and it's just mindless.

Crossley Juniors are one of the teams that will benefit from the new facility.

Crossley Juniors are one of the teams that will benefit from the new facility.

"You just feel as though you're banging your head against a brick wall with these things sometimes."

Video footage of the youths carrying out the damage shows a car spinning across the freshly-laid turf and has been handed on to police.

Martin said: "This will all have a barrier around it once it's done. But we don;t know how much damage has been caused or how far it will set us back.

"It's just a case of wait and see now."