'Restored our faith in humanity': Shincliffe Juniors football club raises £5k after arson attack

The horsebox used as a storage unit contained £3,000 worth of equipment. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

A County Durham football club hit by an arson attack have said they are "overwhelmed" by the response of the public after raising over £5,000 to restore the damage.

More than 300 children at Shincliffe Juniors FC were left without equipment worth £3,000 after the horsebox they used as a storage unit was torched on Monday 21 November.

The club set up an online fundraising page to compensate for the damage, including to nets, footballs and corner flags.

Club secretary and coach Sara Clasper told ITV Tyne Tees: "We are overwhelmed with the support from people. The response has been phenomenal and has restored our faith in humanity.

"We can do something amazing for the kids now."

Ms Clasper said the club will use the money to restore the damage caused by the arsonists and to improve the site for the future.

The club secretary at Shincliffe Juniors FC said they wanted to thank the public "from the bottom of our hearts" for their support. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Before the money was raised, Shincliffe Juniors coach Craig Hetherington said on ITV Tyne Tees that the children could no longer play football due to the damage.

He said: "The World Cup is on now - they want to mimic all their heroes. It's just absolutely devastating.

"We've lost the access to the pitches for the weekend, which means numerous kids just cannot play football now. It is everything for them."

Around 120 children, aged 10 to 14, play at home pitches off Charles Road, in Tudhoe, at weekends.

Ms Clasper said: "I want to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts to people who donated.

"We are so grateful to people we know and people who don't know us at all for dipping their hands in their pockets to help the kids at the club."

The total raised by the club currently stands at £5,628.

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