Thieves ransack Sheffield junior football club's storage unit

Tinsley Juniors FC has suffered a break-in
Tinsley Juniors FC has suffered a break-in
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A junior football club in Sheffield has been left without any equipment - after thieves ransacked its storage unit.

A garage used by Tinsley Juniors Football Club was stripped bare of nets, respect barriers, balls, training equipment and a new grass cutting tractor.

The thieves even took a gazebo with the Tinsley FC logo emblazoned across it.

Club founder Darran Gregory, who set up the club three years ago, vowed not to be defeated by the thieves.

He said he is determined to do all he can to ensure the 76 children in his club's five teams can continue playing football.

Rawmarsh St Joseph's, a club which suffered a similar burglary in the past, has offered to try to help Tinsley and some financial donations have been pledged by others.

But it is expected to cost thousands to replace all the equipment.

Darran, who said he 'just wants to help get kids off the streets doing something they enjoy', said he is devastated at the break-in, which happened in the grounds of the former Tinsley Junior School on Bawtry Road.

The break-in was discovered yesterday but is believed to have happened over the weekend.

"They have taken everything - we have nothing left. The tractor, balls, nets, training equipment, respect barriers and chairs. It's all gone," said Darran.

"We have a new sign outside so whoever did this knew they were targeting a junior football club. It's the kids who are the victims. How could somebody do that? They obviously have no morals.

"A lot of hard work has gone into getting this club up and running, and in three years we have gone from one to five teams and now have 76 players. The players and parents all appreciate what we are doing.

"We are all volunteers, we don't get paid for this, we do it for the love of the game and because we want to help kids. Then somebody can come along and do something like this, threatening it all.

"But believe me they won't have the last laugh. We will carry on. Too much has gone into building this club up."

Darran, who has been involved in coaching football for over 18 years, has a son coaching in America and another - former Sheffield United player Corey Gregory - playing at Stocksbridge Park Steels.

Anyone with information should call South Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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