Boys 13 and 11 arrested after suspected arson attack wrecks junior football team's clubhouse

Boys aged 13 and 11 were arrested following a suspected arson attack on a junior football team’s clubhouse.

Monday, 21st June 2021, 3:19 pm
Updated Monday, 21st June 2021, 3:19 pm

Cleveland Police are appealing for information following a suspected arson attack at Billingham Junior FC clubhouse on Wolviston Back Lane.

The incident occurred on Friday, June 18, at around 5.30pm.

Significant damage has been caused to the clubhouse which will cost thousands of pounds to fix, with a funding page set up to help raise funds and support club’s efforts to recover from the blaze.

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A photo shared by Cleveland Police following damage caused to the clubhouse by the fire.
A photo shared by Cleveland Police following damage caused to the clubhouse by the fire.

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Cleveland Fire Brigade sent appliances from Billingham, Stockton and Thornaby to the incident, which saw the fire spread to a shipping container, leaving both buildings damaged.

Two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were sent in to tackle the fire, with a jet used to put it out.

Billingham Juniors FC Fire Relief Fund has already raised more than £4,900 for the club.

The page reads: “This on the back of the pandemic means the past 15 months have been a difficult time for the club.

"We will not allow this to stop us delivering many hours of training sessions and matches from safe environments weekly.

"Currently we have 160 children that rely on our club.

"The Village Ground may not have looked much to others but to us it was our home.”

The statement added: "It took us many years of fundraising and numerous volunteer hours before we took the plunge into ground ownership, for this to be then ruined in one mindless act.

"Our plan is to rebuild it in terms of a building, providing a better safe facility for the Billingham youngsters to participate in sport.

"Foremost in the short term is to ensure that each child does not lose out on one of their sessions.

"We have already started conversations internally around ensuring we come back from this bigger, better, stronger."

The pair have been arrested on suspicion of arson in connection with the incident and released pending inquiries.

Officers are appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or anyone with information to contact Cleveland Police on 101 quoting 100126.

Independent charity Crimestoppers can also be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111, or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

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