Mower theft threatens club’s future

Mower theft threatens club’s future

Martin Driscoll outside the clubhouse

The clubhouse which was damaged in a previous incident

First published in News

A YOUTH football club is facing an uncertain future after its lawnmower was stolen in a £3,000 break-in.

Leaders at Chipping Norton Town Swifts fear the theft will leave them unable to practice at their Burford Road ground when pre-season training starts in August.

The clubhouse was broken into overnight last Thursday and a lawnmower, grass collector, strimmer and petrol cans were taken, the club said.

Vice chairman Martin Driscoll said the lawnmower is essential to not only cut the grass but uncover hidden rabbit holes and dog mess which children may fall into.

He said: “It is an absolutely vital piece of equipment for us.

“We will struggle now to prepare the pitch.

“There will be a little bit of danger to the boys and girls who are playing on it.”

Mr Driscoll said the club is unsure how they will find the money to pay for cutting the pitch or purchasing a new lawnmower.

He said: “We are all working hard to try to develop the club and it is just really a kick in the teeth when this happens. It always makes you feel a little more vulnerable.”

The club was not insured for the theft as they were unable to afford the cover and Mr Driscoll said it comes as the club is undergoing “genuine financial hardship”.

In April it spent £2,000 on a fence around the ground to tackle dog fouling and people driving onto the pitch.

Until the break-in, it was aiming to raise £1,000 through car boot sales and bag packing in supermarkets for the cost of new goals.

Mr Driscoll said the club, for five to 15-year olds, will now have to consider the extra expense of tighter security. It has had problems with smashed floodlights, broken windows and graffiti.

The Chipping Norton resident said: “We have had a number of vandalism incidents which have caused us financial problems.

“We have not been blessed with the funding that our other local clubs have had in recent years. A thousand pounds was going to be an achievement. There’s only so much you can ask from the local community.”

Thames Valley Police are investigating the lawnmower theft.

Police said the clubhouse was broken into by forcing a side door between 8pm last Thursday and 10.30am the next day. Anyone with information can call 101.

  • Our top stories:

Jury told fire started because businessman thought best man was having affair with wife

Oxford Mail:

8:29am Friday 22nd May 2015

A HOUSE fire that forced people to jump for their lives was started by a businessman who accused his best man of having an affair with his wife, a jury heard.

UPDATE: Missing woman Rachel Selby from Banbury found safe

Oxford Mail:

3:16pm Friday 22nd May 2015

A WOMAN who went missing from Banbury has been found, police said

Person hit by train between Slough and Reading likely to affect Oxford rail services to London

Oxford Mail: A First Great Western High Speed Train

3:24pm Friday 22nd May 2015

TRAINS from Oxford could be disrupted after a person was hit by a train between Slough and Reading.

Teenagers arrested after robbery in Hythe Bridge Street

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

3:23pm Friday 22nd May 2015

TWO teenagers have been arrested after a robbery in Hythe Bridge Street.

Oxford United stepping up interest in striker Ryan Taylor

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 22nd May 2015

Ryan Taylor remains firmly on Oxford United’s radar despite the signing of Kemar Roofe, according to head coach Michael Appleton.

UPDATE: Broken down van removed from near Water Eaton park and ride

Oxford Mail: Traffic Alert general

7:54am Friday 22nd May 2015

ALL LANES have reopened on the A4165 Oxford Road after a earlier incident involving a broken down van.

Quid pro quo as £10,000 grant gives children access to classics at Cheney School

Oxford Mail:

8:22am Friday 22nd May 2015

A CASH boost is set to create a classics hub so that the city’s children have better access to GCSE and A-Level Latin courses.

Park and ride usage drops by a third after council brings in new charge

Oxford Mail:

8:16am Friday 22nd May 2015

A DROP in the number of people using Oxfordshire County Council’s park-and-rides has allegedly damaged business in the city.

Race against time to return Dead Man's Penny to family of soldier killed in First World War

Oxford Mail:

8:04am Friday 22nd May 2015

TIME is running out to reunite the family of a fallen soldier with his memorial plaque before the 100th anniversary of his death in the First World War.

Thames Travel drives in to rescue threatened bus service

Oxford Mail:

7:52am Friday 22nd May 2015

EVENING bus services will continue to serve Littlemore after a new operator stepped in to replace Stagecoach’s 12C service.

Signalling problems between Didcot Parkway and Reading

Oxford Mail: A First Great Western High Speed Train

7:49am Friday 22nd May 2015

SIGNALLING problems between Didcot Parkway and Reading are causing delays to train services this morning.

New £45m heart centre planned for Oxford as break-through research for cardiac patients revealed

Oxford Mail:

8:38am Thursday 21st May 2015

A NEW £45m centre in Headington jointly run by Oxford University and the British Heart Foundation will hope to attract “the world’s best junior scientists and fellows.”

Video: Buskers make a noise in Cornmarket over 'antisocial' fines plan

Oxford Mail:

6:24pm Thursday 21st May 2015

BUSKERS were out on Cornmarket Street  today campaigning againstplans to introduce fines for musicians who don't follow council rules.

Man arrested after teenager punched at funfair in Witney

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

6:11pm Thursday 21st May 2015

A MAN has been arrested after a teenager was assaulted at a funfair in Witney, police said.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree