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Happy ending for kids' football club targeted by thieves

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A CHILDREN'S football club targeted by thieves says its "faith in humanity is restored" after receiving thousands of pounds in donations.

The Selsdon Little League club at Sanderstead Recreation Ground had kit, equipment and a generator stolen as well as precious trophies trashed.

Bob Clewley, the club's chairman, said the league was devastated and they were not sure how to recover enough money to replace all the kit.

However, after the Advertiser reported the club's plight, thousands of pounds have flooded in from companies, parents and the local residents' association.

"We are absolutely delighted," said Mr Clewley.

"The Sanderstead Residents' Association has given us £600, the Dynamo Boxing Club are giving us anything between £600 and £1,000, a man from Sheldon is handing over his generator worth £800 and we're also getting £500 from a chemist in Brighton Road.

"It's a really amazing response and hopefully we'll be able to be fully up and running after claiming the rest on insurance in time for the season in September."

Mik Simmons, the club's vice-president, said: "I am so surprised. I can understand the local residents' association but for complete strangers you don't know from Adam to call in and offer hundreds of pounds is great.

"I know it's a cliche but it really restores your faith in humanity after what happened. It gives you a big smile."

The owner of Dynamo Boxing Club, Martin Dilworth, who raised more than £600 for the club, said: "I put up the Advertiser article on my Facebook and in the gym for my clients to see.

"We got such a quick response, I nearly had to take it down again, we made hundreds in just hours.

"For me it's really important for kids to stay busy and clubs like this need to keep running, keep them out of trouble.

"It's good to show that good stuff can come out of bad.

"It was just mindless vandalism on the club but I hope now we can set up a working partnership."

Denis King, the new chair of the Sanderstead RA said the group was very keen to start supporting youth groups.

"It was front page news in the Advertiser and it seemed like a great opportunity.

"They run the club for kids from all over and we want to be a proactive organisation rather than just responding to planning applications all the time.

"We support more than 60 groups locally and not one of them is for young people.

"This is a good start."

Happy ending for kids' football club targeted by thieves


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