Rugby team devastated after burglars leave clubhouse trashed

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A volunteer-led rugby club has been devastated by another break-in which left its clubhouse trashed.

The incident happened at Old Brodleians RUFC in Denholme Gate Road, Hipperholme, between 1am-7am on Sunday.

The thieves removed a window, broke doors, disabled the alarm and managed to get into the safe before fleeing.

Police are now appealing for information about the crime, during which cash was stolen.

Club chairman Richard Turner said: “The messages of support we’ve received from other clubs and individuals has been heartwarming.

“Obviously our club is completely a volunteer organisation.

“All the fundraising we do is towards an amateur rugby club of whom we have more than 350 members and this [crime] can knock back our development plans.

“The cost of security will double or treble and that’s money that would go towards amateur rugby.

“On Sunday morning at 7am I was very, very upset.”

The club is manned by more than 100 volunteers as well as staff, with 19 teams operating. Each side has two coaches and assistants.

“It’s a huge network that produces those players from 16 years to 19,” said Mr Turner.

A silver lining of the raid is that the club has received renewed interest from budding players. And its owners intend to recoup some of the losses with a Halloween event.

Two matches held at the ground on Sunday went ahead despite the police’s forensic work.

PC Templeton of the Valley’s Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “I would appeal to anyone who may have been in the area in the early hours of Sunday morning and may have heard or seen anything suspicious to come forward.

“Equally, if anyone has any information I would ask that they speak to police. Enquiries are ongoing.”

Contact the Valley’s NPT via 101 with information.