The captain of a cricket club facing closure after 155 years due to vandalism has said he has been enthused by the community response.
A building used by Sion Mills Cricket Club was discovered on Tuesday morning with graffiti painted on the roof, while expensive groundskeeping equipment was burnt out by fire.
Simon Galloway, who has been with the club for around two decades and is both the captain of the senior team and the club secretary, told the News Letter Sion Mills Cricket Club is now facing an uncertain future due to the damage.
But a fundraising campaign on online site GoFundMe has seen well over £1,000 raised already.
“I’m much more bouyant about the future of the club now after seeing that,” he said.
“We think it will take in and around £5,000 to replace what we’ve lost. We are some way off that but it has gone really well so far.
“I didn’t expect it to go so well so quickly, but at the same time knowing what the local community is like and what the cricket community is like I am not entirely surprised by the support we’ve had.”
He continued: “A lot of things have ahappened in a short space of time. It is true that we are at risk of closing but I am much more confident now. There are other options we are exploring with Derry City and Strabane council, but there are no guarantees there.”
Mr Galloway added: “The resolve is there from the committee to try and ensure that we are back next year to continue the 155 year tradition.”
The GoFundMe page is https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.gofundme.com%2Ff%2Fsave-sion-mills-cricket-club&h=AT3BGs5_ezg6RL1s6k75WggBXM1FESLDBXgLqz9iGCkW8WwjSVoHxolYrl-0leV_Ch7tYSCS_BsXZ0JwIqFEqlDsOWt-ocdtopjkS29fAHgPtzRgT7vAgLdRJnpARkKlVdnrvyQc&s=1