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Dundee junior football bosses left ‘shattered’ by fire damage costing up to £20,000

A blaze which gutted junior football premises in Dundee has caused damage totalling up to £20,000.

The fire was started in a container at Fairfield Sports and Leisure Club football ground on Drumgeith Road in the Douglas area of the city on Tuesday night.

The storage area and equipment inside, owned by Dundee St James FC, has been completely torched.

The club has hundreds of local youngsters on its books.

Two containers were damaged in the fire.

Devastated club officials said nothing has been salvaged.

The damage, contained to inside one container and a section of the neighbouring one, was discovered on Wednesday morning on a routine check by groundsmen at the park.

It is understood nobody saw the fire while it was ongoing as it was not reported to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

Club officials believe the petrol canister in the container was used to start the fire

Club officials believe fireraisers used bolt cutters to cut open the container’s padlock before starting the blaze with a petrol canister inside.

The club’s facilities manager, Danny McGregor, said: “We can’t believe someone has deliberately done this.

“We have lost everything.

“Tens of thousands of pounds of damage has been caused.

“We are absolutely shattered.”

Danny McGregor assesses the damage.

Equipment lost includes a £5,000 sit-on lawn mower to cut the grounds, white-line painter, a normal lawnmower, a wheelbarrow, a strimmer and dozens of tools.

All of the club’s football equipment, including nets, goals, footballs and training bibs, were also destroyed.

“The petrol canister in the container was obviously used to start the fire,” Danny added.

“It looks like they set fire to it and threw it into the container.

“The blaze must have been fierce and the heat intense as the container is completely destroyed inside.

“The fire has actually melted the wall between it and our second container, which holds a lot of the football equipment, destroying most of it as well.”

Deliberately targeted

Danny is appealing for anyone with information to catch the culprits to come forward.

“Why someone would want to do this is beyond us,” he said.

“There is no doubt whatsoever we have been targeted and this was deliberate.”

Everything was destroyed or damaged in the blaze.

The club has boys and girls football teams catering from under nines to teenagers.

It was just about to launch a group for toddlers to five year-olds and new equipment had been purchased, which has also been destroyed.

“This club does so much for local youngsters and it’s them who will be hit the worst,” Danny said.

“We hope to continue playing but it will mean paying someone now to cut the grass, paint the lines etcetera.”

Jimmy Sorrie, director of Fairfield Community Sports Hub who started a food larder in the Drumgeith Pavilion in 2020, said everyone associated with the club is devastated.

Jimmy said: “The damage caused is dreadful.

“This has been a deliberate act and we need to find out who was behind it.”

Inquiries ongoing

A Police Scotland spokesman asked anyone with information to get in touch.

“Inquiries are ongoing following a report of a container at Drumgeith Road, Dundee, being broken into and the contents set on fire.

“The incident happened overnight and was reported on Wednesday  January 26.

“Anyone with information that could help is asked to call 101, quoting incident number 0755 of January 26, 2022.

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