Mystery as thieves target football pitch

Coppull United in action on their pitch
Coppull United in action on their pitch

Police are investigating a bizarre theft which saw the hallowed turf of a football club stolen.

A thief armed with a shovel went onto the pitch at Coppull United, on Springfield Road, and dug up the turf at the centre circle.

It was removed some time between 5pm on Saturday, February 1 and noon the following day.

The damage was discovered by the club’s groundsman, who spent several hours repairing it

Dave Haughton, director of football, said: “Our groundsman went down and found the entire centre circle had been dug out and it was unplayable.

“We were frantically trying to put it right.”

Fortunately, the damage did not affect any scheduled matches, as they were cancelled anyway due to the weather.

Dave said: “If we had been playing, it would have been called off because of this. We wouldn’t have been able to play because there would have been a risk of breaking limbs.”

It is not known why someone would target the pitch, which is open to the public.

Dave added: “It could be anyone - kids playing on it or somebody trying to sabotage it.

“We don’t have cameras there so we don’t know who has done it.”

Anyone with information can call police on 101.