CHILDREN and volunteers at a football club in Tidworth have been left upset and disheartened after their club was broken into for the second time in two months.

Tidworth Royals Football Club, based in Arcot Road, was broken into on Thursday when thieves cut a padlock off the gates.

A generator, which is used to provide teas and coffees, was stolen from a shed on the site and the club says it doesn’t have the funds to replace it as it only just breaks even each year.

Teressa Slater, manager of the under 10s team and school liaison officer for the club, said: “It’s a real shame. There are so many people in the community giving up so much time and a lot of effort goes into running the club. It’s disheartening that somebody would break in. They can see it’s a community club.”

The club began leasing the land from Tidworth Town Council this year and it has about 200 members, mainly from army families. “We keep our fees low due to wanting kids to join and enjoy football,” said Mrs Slater.

“Since taking over the land we have been working really hard to get it to the stage we have, it has been a real task for us all spending a lot of personal time to do this.”

The club was also broken into two months ago when a mower, drills and a strimmer were taken. “We are trying so hard to keep kids off the street and give them football in the community. It is so sad that people can do this; we have no real money and cannot replace this generator,” said Mrs Slater.

Mayor of Tidworth Chris Franklin said: “It is really saddening to see something like this happening. Tidworth Town Council has worked hard to secure land for the youth and adults alike to be able to play football. Tidworth Royals stepped up to the mark and are caretaking this land for us, using their wealth of knowledge.

"I only hope that whichever lowlife carried out these thefts does the decent thing and returns the stolen goods, if only for the children.”

Police are urging anyone with information to contact them on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.