Accrington Stanley’s early season struggles were made that bit tougher - when the players’ boots were stolen in a break-in.
The team was playing away at Cheltenham Town on Saturday, August 16, and when they returned from the fixture, they discovered that the players’ home changing room at the Crown Ground had been broken into and items stolen, including boots.
A door had been broken off its hinges and a window had also been smashed. It was the worst possible preparation for the game at Shrewsbury on Tuesday night, which the Reds duly lost 4-0.
A spokesman for Lancashire Police confirmed the incident was reported to them on Monday, and that youths had climbed over a fence and gained entry to the players’ changing rooms.
The club was targeted again on Monday evening and police were called following reports of an attempt to break into the club’s kit rooms and a mobile catering van.
Stanley manager James Beattie was astonished that a club which prides itself on having a family atmosphere and being part of the community has fallen victim to this crime.
He said: “We were all shocked to find out this news. A number of my players have had their boots and other equipment taken which have both monetary and sentimental value to them.
“As if it isn’t hard enough to try to keep this club in the Football League against the odds and with a small budget this is another blow that could have a detrimental effect on both our season and the finances.
“We’re appealing to anyone who may have any information to contact the club or the police.”
Further security measures at the club will be put in place this week.
The club added: “We cannot afford this cost but we also cannot afford to allow unlawful damage to go without answer.”