Football matches cancelled after 'equipment stolen'

Club chairman Duane james
Club chairman Duane James was on holiday at the time

The chairman of a non-league football club said matches had to be cancelled after almost £30,000 worth of equipment was "stolen from the ground".

A John Deere tractor and a Quadraplay - a pitch maintenance machine - were taken from Mulberry Park, the home of Mulbarton Wanderers, near Norwich, last week, the club claimed.

Chairman, Duane James, who was on holiday during the incident, said: "I’m down here all the time, at least three or four hours a day. It was almost like somebody knew that I was away.”

The club said it had reported the incident to Norfolk Police.

The machinery was used to maintain pitches at Mulberry Park, as well as seven other pitches in the village.

Mulbarton Wanderers cancelled Thursday night's fixtures as they said the pitch could not be prepared in time.

Both the men’s and youth team matches were affected.

Mr James said the club had to then fork out £150 per pitch, to bring in external groundskeepers.

“It’s throwing cash at things to keep football going, which we just haven’t got,” he added.

Mulberry Park
The pitch at Mulberry Park was maintained by a groundsmen on Tuesday costing the club £150

Mulbarton Wanderers are set to host three matches this weekend.

The club's senior 1st team play in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division.

Norfolk Police were contacted for comment.

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