A jersey and international caps donated by Irish football legend, Gary Kelly as well as pennants from top clubs Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur, were among priceless items destroyed when thugs set fire to two containers belonging to a kids football club in the former Leeds United stars home town of Drogheda, County Louth on Friday night.
And the Meath Live can reveal that arsonists had botched a similar attempt earlier in the week.
The attacks have caused up to €15k worth of damage at Drogheda Boys FC, where many youngsters from the East Meath area begin their budding football careers, but in a heart warming gesture a Go Fund Me page set up to help replace items such as team kits, footballs and goalposts, has raised over €12k in twelve hours.
Distraught club chairman, Graham Campbell, revealed, ‘Whoever did this was determined to do damage, the previous Sunday night they took two residential wheelie bins from a local housing estate placed them up against the containers we use as changing rooms and store rooms and set them ablaze.
‘They clearly weren’t the brightest however as one of them was a compost bin which was full of potato skins so when they set it on fire the whole thing just petered out.
‘This time around they did exactly the same and put the bins in precisely the same place and unfortunately this time they were successful.
‘I have been trying to figure out what kind of person would do this but really I can’t get inside their heads.
‘We have pretty much lost everything, a lot of team kits at €500 a go, large goalposts at €120 each smaller seven a side goals at €80 a pop, one hundred and fifty footballs at €50 each, in total we reckon the cost will come in somewhere between €10-15k.
‘Initially we were in two minds about doing the Go Fund Me page but the response has been overwhelming, we have had fivers tenners and twenties from loads of people and the towns League Of Ireland club Drogheda United have donated €2,500.