Club in crisis after 20 years of being a target

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

A FOOTBALL club will have to fold if it keeps on being targeted by thieves, its chairman says.

Lex XI, which runs three of its own teams and hosts a number of others from its ground off Summerhill Road, has been suffering break-ins for 20 years.

The latest came on Wednesday night when thousands of pounds worth of copper piping and fittings was ripped from the showers and toilets.

Raiders also put their lives at risk by trying unsuccessfully to take the heavy cable carrying high voltage electricity to the changing rooms.

Chairman Dennis Hall said: “The whole thing is a nightmare and every time we have a break-in members of the committee have to pay for repairs out of our own pockets.

“We’ll obviously keep going as long as we can but if this goes on the club will have to fold.”

Lex XI, which was set up by a group of young Wrexham solicitors in the mid-1960s, runs three teams whose players range in age from under 16s to late 20s.

On Wednesday night – ironically after a police football team had played there earlier in the evening – intruders entered the single-storey brick changing rooms by smashing their way through a small window.

They removed the cisterns and copper pipework from two toilets and the heads and piping off eight showers in two rooms.

More metal fittings were stripped from a corridor and the referee’s changing room.

Club officials, who are all volunteers, and a plumber, battled against the clock to have the facilities ready for a major morris dancing competition planned at the ground yesterday.

Mr Hall, who has been club chairman for the past year, said: “They have taken virtually everything of value, obviously to sell the metal.

“We had everything replaced because we didn’t want to call off the morris dancing, which had competitors coming from all over Wales and England.”

He added that over the past 20 years, there had been about eight or nine break-ins.

“The last big one was about a year ago when they smashed through the breeze-block wall to get into the kitchen and start a fire,” he said.

“We lost all the equipment and had to replace it.

“Every time this happens the eight committee members have to pay for it out of our own pockets.

“We are only ordinary working people and can’t afford to keep on doing that.

“We want to keep the club going because so many people get enjoyment from it but if this carries on we will have to fold.”

A spokeswoman for North Wales Police said: “We received a report of a break-in at the football ground overnight on July 13.

“Entry had been forced and damage was caused inside the building.

“Investigations are on-going.”
 

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