Dewsbury Rangers' 'heartbreak' after football pitch ruined by biker vandals

  • Video report by Jonathan Brown

A community football club says bikers who repeatedly tear up their pitches are "destroying" attempts to help youngsters.

Dewsbury Rangers have had to cancel matches because of regular problems with vandalism.

Chairman Rob Smith said there had been four incidents this season and described the situation as "heartbreaking".

He said: "We take two steps forward and it’s one step back all the time. The argument we get thrown at us is there’s nothing for them to do, but the irony is we’re trying to create something for them to do but they come up and destroy it."

About 200 young footballers play for the Rangers each week on pitches which used to be council-run but are now maintained by the club.

The Football Foundation recently approved an £18,000 grant.

It is the fourth time this season the pitch has been ruined

The club have put up signs, appealed to police and secured funding to pay to fence off the facility, but say Kirklees Council is refusing to allow them to do so because of planning rules.

One young player said: "It makes me distraught because how could someone try to ruin something we like to do."

Another added: "Kids are trying to get happy playing football and the game could be cancelled because of damage to pitches."

Parent Chloe Maddocks said: "Everybody’s welcome but this vandalism is not welcome. It’s a community team and we can’t to protect it."In a statement, Cllr Aafaq Butt, of Kirklees Council, said: "This field already has some measures in place. Unfortunately it is not possible to completely block access to the site as it is a public green space."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.