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Football club steps up fundraising after being hit with online scam

PUBLISHED: 09:26 11 December 2017 | UPDATED: 09:50 11 December 2017

Freethorpe FC Community Pavilion   Picture: James Bass

Freethorpe FC Community Pavilion Picture: James Bass

James Bass © 2009

Members of a football club which fell victim to an online scam are rallying around to recoup the lost funds.

Freethorpe Football Club, which has more than 100 years of history, lost more than £2,000 in a cyber crime over the summer.

The amount equated to more than two-thirds of the club’s funds.

However, now, players, coaches and the friends and family of those involved with the club are taking big steps to try and repair the financial damage done by the scammers.

On Saturday, January 21, the club will attempt to walk to the Wembley - the very home of football - all without leaving Freethorpe.

The fundraisers will walk a combined 1,000 laps of their playing field - the equivalant distance from Freethorpe to Wembley.

Marcus Smith, Freethorpe chairman, said: “We were devastated to learn of the online scam which has had a direct impact on the football club and its ability to provide foodball for the local children and adults alike.

“However, we hope by raiwing awareness we can help to prevent other clubs and organisations succumbing to similar scams which are prevalent in today’s society.”

The club is appealing to local residents and club supports to also get involved in the campaign, with a range of other activities arranged for the event.

There will be a raffle, a memorabilia auction and food and drinks for sale, which the walkers take on their challenge.

Mr Smith added; “As a result of the loss our club faces some tough challenges, but we are all totally committed to recouping as much money as we possibly can.”

Michael Banham, Norfolk County FA chairman, added: “While the internat and the digital age has its many advantages, Freethorpe FC’s unfortuante situation highlights the risks involved and the importance of remaining vigilant online.

“I commend Marcus and everbody at the club for doing all they can to raise awareness of these dangers, as well as organising such a fantastic event in order to get back on their feet.”

Those wishing to support the club can do so through a Just Giving page which has been set up for the campaign.

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