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'It's amazing' - Youth football club hails community after hundreds raised for torched clubhouse

PUBLISHED: 16:39 28 August 2019 | UPDATED: 17:21 28 August 2019

Shrublands FC have set up a gofundme page after the club lost thousands of pounds worth of equipment in a fire on Tuesday night. Picture: Shrublands FC

Shrublands FC have set up a gofundme page after the club lost thousands of pounds worth of equipment in a fire on Tuesday night. Picture: Shrublands FC

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A youth football club which saw its headquarters devastated by arson has said the community's response has been 'amazing' after hundreds of pounds was raised in a matter of hours.

Club secretary John Barrett. Picture: John BarrettClub secretary John Barrett. Picture: John Barrett

Shrublands FC launched the gofundme page on Wednesday morning in a desperate attempt to get the club back up and running.

The team has used the Claydon Pavilion in Gorleston as a clubhouse for a number of years but the building was gutted by a fire on Tuesday night.

It is believed the fire at Southtown Common recreation ground began at a bench nearby before it spread to the pavilion.

Four fire crews rushed to tackle the blaze at around 11pm.

The damage to the Shrublands FC clubhouse, Great Yarmouth. Picture: Jamie Honeywood The damage to the Shrublands FC clubhouse, Great Yarmouth. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

A number of new football kits were being stored in the building as well as games equipment including a pool table.

On Wednesday afternoon, the gofundme page, set up by club secretary John Barrett and Kerry Reed, had already raised more than £250.

The money raised by the fundraiser, which the Eastern Daily Press and Great Yarmouth Mercury are backing, will go towards replacing the kits and football equipment which was lost in the fire.

Mr Barrett said: "The response we have had from the local community has been amazing.

The damage to the Shrublands FC clubhouse, Great Yarmouth. Picture: Jamie Honeywood The damage to the Shrublands FC clubhouse, Great Yarmouth. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

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"We can't thank everyone enough for all their support.

"Unfortunately due to the size of the club we can't afford to invest loads of money ourselves so we are reliant on the help of others."

Shrublands FC have had to find a new venue for their annual seven-a-side tournament which was scheduled to take place on Saturday and Sunday.

The damage to the Shrublands FC clubhouse, Great Yarmouth. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodThe damage to the Shrublands FC clubhouse, Great Yarmouth. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Great Yarmouth Borough Council are preparing the Magdalen playing fields in Gorleston to ensure the tournament can still go ahead.

Committee member, Kerry Reed, has described her pride at the community's response.

"It's amazing to know the tournament will still go ahead at the weekend.

"It's a really big event for us and I'm sure the kids will have a great time.

Police at the scene of a fire which has destroyed Shublands FC clubhouse, Great Yarmouth. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodPolice at the scene of a fire which has destroyed Shublands FC clubhouse, Great Yarmouth. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

"Everyone associated with the club is determined to make it a success."

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service believe the fire was started deliberately.

A police cordon was in place around the pavilion on Wednesday morning as officers continued to investigate the incident.

- If you have any information, contact police on 101.

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