Swanley football team raising funds are vandals wreck pitch

Funds are being raised for a local Swanley football team after a large group of vandals broke in and wrecked their historic grounds.

Crockenhill FC have been playing football since the 1940s, last year celebrating its 75th anniversary, and in 2018 their West Meadow ground featured as the backdrop to the comedy film The Bromley Boys.

But last month, a large group reportedly broke into their ground in Swanley to stage their own football match in breach of Covid-19 guidelines.

The vandals caused extensive damage to the site, including wrecking the recently relaid turf, leaving litter and beer cans across the pitch, and kicking in several parts of the fence surrounding the pitch.

The ground has reportedly broken into multiple times in the past few months, and in the latest incident in February, an emergency fate was broken.

Trespassers have damaged the pitch, fencing and historic turnstiles “by coming on to the property and destroying it.”

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Kent Police have also been investigating the reports of criminal damage.
 
The amateur club say they now need money for materials and tools, and will be doing most of the labour themselves to drive down costs.

Jade Cullen, a club volunteer, said they are all volunteers at the club and receive no council support, even in lockdown, so are asking for support from the local community.

“We have been involved with this club for 30 years, and we have struggled to keep it going.

“But we do it for all the amazing football ground hoppers, players and people that love football, and love our family-orientated club,” said Jade, 33.

“If you can donate that would be amazing and once Covid is over you are more than welcome to visit and watch a match with us!”

In an update, Jade said they have been “overwhelmed” by the response to the fundraiser.

“Thank you so much to everyone that has donated so far, it gives us such great positivity that there are so many wonderful people out there who care about CFC and Crockenhill as much as we do!

“Me and my dad will forever be grateful, and he was very emotional when I told him about the response.”

Jade said they were currently looking into new fencing panels and foundations.

A few people also suggested raising the fundraiser’s budget to allow the club to purchase and upgrade their CCTV system to help keep everyone in the area safe, and this is an idea Jade is now exploring.

So far the GoFundMe has raised nearly £1,400. You can find that page here. 

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