Well-wishers offer cash help to vandal-hit sports club

FAITH RESTORED: Mark Sickling from Greatham Sports Field Association.
FAITH RESTORED: Mark Sickling from Greatham Sports Field Association.

A HARTLEPOOL man working in the Congo is sending a donation to sports association bosses following a vandal attack on their new facility.

Mark Sickling, from Greatham Sports Field Association, was left devastated when mindless yobs smashed a window, and tried to kick down one of the doors to the new changing rooms on Greatham Village’s sports field.

Everyone at Greatham Sports Field Association appreciates their generosity and we thank them very much. My faith has been restored.

Mark Sickling from Greatham Sports Field Association

But the 48-year-old’s faith in human nature has been restored after being offered donations from two kind-hearted readers of the Mail.

Mark said he was contacted by an old college friend called Colin Morgan, an electrician who is currently working in the Congo.

He saw the news of the attack on the Hartlepool Mail website and has offered a £70 donation to help cover the cost of the new window, or to put into the Greatham Sports Field Association kitty.

A lady called Angela also contacted Mark, and pledged a donation for the cause.

Mark said: “I couldn’t believe it when Colin said he was in the Congo in the middle of the sea working. He must have read the Mail website and recognised me and got straight onto me.

“I used to go to college with him when we both starting as electricians, but I rarely see him now, and just exchange pleasantries when we do.

“But he said he wants to help out and said he’ll send the donation when he next gets signal.

“A lady called Angela also contacted me and said she wants to send me a cheque in the next couple of days with a small donation.

“She said that our drive and enthusiasm is a credit and that’s why she wanted to help because it was such a shame what had happened.”

He added: “It’s people like them that make it all worthwhile and make you remember why you’re doing this in the first place.

“Everyone at Greatham Sports Field Association appreciates their generosity and we thank them very much.

“My faith has been restored.”

The organisation has tirelessly raised funds for two years to save up for the changing rooms which were finally set up on the village sports field last month.

It bought the changing facilities for £2,200 to allow the hosting of football games, and other sporting events.