Car vandals turn Mangotsfield football pitches into ‘mud bath’ with joy-ride

Junior football clubs in Bristol have been landed with a hefty bill after vandals in a car turned their pitches into a “mud bath”.

Seven pitches at Pomphrey Hill in Mangotsfield were damaged after a car managed to access the site in the early hours of Saturday, January 13.

The pitches are used by hundreds of youngsters every week, playing host to Bromley Heath Football Club and Mangotsfield Football Club matches.

Jamie Andrews-Britton, chairman of Bromley Heath FC and the Pomphrey Hill Sports Community Association, said the repairs will cost thousands.

“It happened in the early hours of Saturday morning,” he said. “A car came in at approximately 1.30am and left the property by 1.55am.

“It was 25 minutes of fun for the people in the car, but 25 minutes of fun that’s caused thousands of pounds worth of damage.

“It’s definitely a single car. We have got three levels of pitches and it’s on the bottom pitches where they’ve caused the most damage – it’s unplayable.

“Two football clubs uses these fields and if there’s no games, there’s no revenue coming in.”

The car was caught entering the site on CCTV cameras installed at the Pavilion, opposite one of the pitches, but it was too dark to identify the vehicle’s make or model.

Jamie said it looked like the vandals had driven across the pitches while attempting high-speed manoeuvres and handbrake turns.

Due to the recent rainfall, the 38-year-old said the fields had been reduced to a “mud bath”.

An online fundraising page has since been set up to help cover the repair costs.

Jamie said he had been inundated with messages of support from other football teams, offering him use of their pitches and even pledging to help with the fundraising.

“The response we have had has been outstanding – we really didn’t expect it,” he added.

“We have set up the fundraising page and it’s already had over £300 donated, and I’ve had so many calls and messages from other football clubs.

“One manager offered to take his team bag-packing to help raise funds.”

First published www.bristolpost.co.uk by Alex Wood 15 Jan 2018.