Appeal for help after 'arson attack' on Raynes Park Vale Football Club leaves changing rooms gutted

Lee Dobinson in the burnt out changing rooms

Lee Dobinson in the burnt out changing rooms

First published in News
Last updated
Wimbledon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A football club changing room has been reduced to a burnt out shell after a suspected arson attack.

Volunteers at the Raynes Park Vale Football Club are appealing for help and donations to repair the damage caused in the early hours of Sunday after the fire took hold, leaving just charred remains.

An investigation is underway by police officers to determine the cause of the fire which destroyed doors, parts of the pitch and changing rooms - the latest in a spate of vandalism at the club in Grand Drive.

Club chairman Lee Dobinson said about seven separate fires started around the club ground on the night.

Mr Dobinson said: "It is pretty soul destroying.

"We have been working hard trying to decorate and make it look better.

"This is another job to add to the list for a very small number of people, that’s why we need help."

The club, run by volunteers, had been carrying out improvement work on the clubhouse after being awarded a £50,000 grant in December 2012 in a Budweiser Club Futures programme.

Mr Dobinson said their only revenue was from sales at the clubhouse bar and they would struggle to cover the cost of repairs to fire damaged areas.

They are appealing for tradesmen to donate materials or their time to help mend the damaged changing rooms in time for a pre-season friendlies set to begin in July.

Mr Dobinson said: "This is a priority for us.

"We can’t start the new season without changing rooms."

Assistant manager of the under eleven team, Roy Lewis, said the first team changing room had been gutted.

Mr Lewis said: "It’s a nightmare.

"We had a successful open day on Saturday then I get a call at 3am saying there are police and fire engines everywhere."

The club is no stranger to vandalism and said cars are regularly broken into in the car park.

Fire fighters from New Malden station confirmed they were called to the scene and stopped the fire from spreading.

There were no reported injuries.

To contact Mr Dobinson to help call 07950 595 995.


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