A football club has been left "heartbroken" after thieves broke in and caused damage to the stadium and club shop.
Berwick Rangers face large costs to repair the damage after a window in the club shop was smashed while merchandise and alcohol were also stolen.
The club shares Shielfield Park with the Berwick Speedway and the thieves took keys to some of their vehicles, leaving them with no access. Club golf buggies were also driven on the speedway in the incident that took place overnight between Monday 11 and Tuesday 12 September.
Northumbria Police are investigating the incident but the club have been left counting the costs.
"It is a real kick in the teeth," the club's general manager Kieran Bowell told ITV Tyne Tees. "The damage and expense is one the club cannot afford."
Berwick have been working hard throughout 2023 to make the club more of a community asset. They have launched a women's team, invested in a community academy and are working with local groups inside and outside of football.
They also hope to make Shielfield Park a community hub and have entered partnerships with a range of local businesses.
The club have already been seeing the benefits with attendances on the up but the damage risks disrupting their progress.
"We have worked hard to change the narrative around the club and were on our way to doing things well again," Mr Bowell said. "This obviously goes against our objectives.
"It is a really tough one to take."
Mr Bowell thanked the community for the messages the club have received since the break-in. A fundraiser has also been launched to help the club cover the costs.
Northumbria Police have confirmed they are investigating the break-in and are appealing for witnesses.
A force spokesperson said: “At about 6:45am on Tuesday 12 September we received a report of a burglary at Berwick Rangers Football Club that occurred overnight.
“A full investigation has been launched into the incident and anyone found to be responsible will be dealt with swiftly and robustly."
Anyone with any information is urged to get in touch via the Northumbria Police website or by calling 101 quoting log NP-20230912-0152.
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