Defibrillator stolen from Sheffield football club

A defibrillator was stolen from a junior football club in Sheffield by thieves who went on a wrecking spree.

Crooks broke into the grounds of Middlewood Rovers JFC in Handsworth yesterday evening, between around 7.30pm and 8pm, and took the life-saving machine.

They also stole drinks, crisps and sweets from the cafe and kitchen at the grounds off Waverley Lane and created a huge mess, smashing trophies, spraying sauce and ripping off the fridge door.

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The trail of destruction left by thieves who broke in to Middlewood Rovers JFC

The defibrillator was found the following morning in some nearby fields, and thankfully appears to be undamaged.

But the club, which has 21 teams and about 300 players ranging from four-year-olds all the way up to adults, says it is counting the cost of the damage.

Although games were able to go ahead as normal today, the cafe remained closed as the huge clean-up operation began, costing the outfit £300-400 in lost revenue.

Club chairman Chris Dennison said: “It’s the third break-in we’ve had this year, but we won’t be beaten.

The trail of destruction left by thieves who broke into Middlewood Rovers JFC

“We’re relieved we found the defibrillator, which was presumably abandoned because they realised they wouldn’t be able to sell it on. To take something like that is ridiculous. They don’t realise what danger they could be putting someone in.

Mr Dennison said the alarm had been raised by a dog walker who spotted two boys, believed to be aged around 15 or 16, up to no good at the premises.

By the time volunteers arrived they had already ransacked the cafe but one of the club’s managers arrived in time to chase one of the thieves off the grounds.

It is believed there may have been two other boys acting as lookouts during the break-in, but there is no description of any of those responsible at this stage.

The trail of destruction left by thieves who broke into Middlewood Rovers JFC

Mr Dennison said there had been a bit of a crime wave in the area recently, with burglaries at a number of shops, and the club was just unfortunate that it had been targeted three times despite storing nothing of great value on the premises.

The Star only yesterday reported how thieves had broken into another youth club, Tinsley Juniors, stealing equipment including a ride-on lawnmower.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101.