Youths blasted over club raid

An image of the two suspects in the Westleigh Cricket Club vandalism incident, with their identities obscured
An image of the two suspects in the Westleigh Cricket Club vandalism incident, with their identities obscured
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Cricket club officials have condemned teenagers believed to be responsible for the latest spate of vandalism at their ground.

Police have been alerted after the youngsters were captured on camera damaging the sight screens and nets at Westleigh Cricket Club, in Firs Lane, earlier this week.

Supporters in the local community have rallied around to ensure that the £500 required for repairs doesn’t decimate funds for the Manchester League outfit.

But for club president Kevin Andrews, who has encountered a string of similar recent incursions, it is increasingly frustrating.

He told the Wigan Post that a great deal of fund-raising, and work to secure grants, had led to the sight screens being installed originally.

Mr Andrews said: “They have pulled the slats out of the screens, which are around £25 a time. Then they have used the frame to ram fencing which protects the nets.”

Still and video images of the suspects have been passed to police after the incident on Monday.

Club officials have identified one of the boys involved but have been unable to obtain compensation for his share of the damage.

Peter Taylor, publican at The Britannia pub, and local businessman John Brunt, a grandson of Ernest Wilkinson, one of Westleigh’s founders, have stepped in to cover the costs.

Mr Andrews would much rather the funds were employed to improve facilities at the club, which boasts two senior and four junior sides.

Proposals have been drawn up to offer girls netball sessions on Thursdays.

And planning permissions has also been obtained for a modest extension to their changing rooms.

Mr Andrews added: “The ground is looking really good at the moment and we’re always being paid compliments about it.

“People give up their time on a voluntary basis to make clubs like ours work.”

If anyone can assist with fund-raising, e-mail Kevin at leighdecorltd@hotmail.co.uk