A football club has launched an appeal for help after its bonfire was set ablaze and destroyed – a week before its annual fireworks fundraiser.
Arsonists targeted the isolated Stafflex Arena complex at Storthes Hall on Friday night, lighting the bonfire which had taken three weeks to build.
Firefighters were called but the bonfire was completely destroyed and the club, Shelley Community FC, has appealed for help.
The club wants to hear from anyone who can donate wood to rebuild the bonfire in the countdown to Friday’s Bonfire and Firework Extravaganza event.
It’s the fifth annual bonfire night event and around 1,000 people are expected to attend.
Lee Henton, a club director and one of the trustees of the Leslie Sports Foundation which owns the lease on the site, said club officials were meeting at the clubhouse until 7.30pm.
He later received a text message from one of the club members out walking his dog who said the bonfire was ablaze at 11.30pm.
“Words fail me,” said Mr Henson. “Why someone should want to do this on a Friday night I’ve no idea.
“It will be fine because we will make it fine. But we have spent three weeks building the bonfire and we have only seven days to replace it.”
Mr Henton said he wanted to appeal to anyone who could drop off wood at the site to do so as soon as possible.
“Usually we would say we’ll collect it but we’re running out of time,” he added.
The club has been based at Storthes Hall for five years and now runs 24 junior teams, four adult teams and three disability sides. Huddersfield Town Ladies also play there.
It has five football fields, the main one of which is floodlit.
“It’s a unique woodland setting and a lot of people have spent a lot of time and a lot of money has gone into it,” said Mr Henton.
“For a remote site we have had limited incidents. It’s all locked up and secured with CCTV cameras. It’s rare we get something like this.”
On Friday gates open at 6pm with the bonfire lit about 7pm and the fireworks display at 8pm.
The fireworks display is professionally-organised and there will be a cafe, BBQ and beer tent.
Entry costs £3 for adults, £2 for students and £1 for children and proceeds go to club funds.
The postcode for the club site is HD8 0WA.