Hundreds of young footballers have been left wondering when they can next play after masked vandals damaged pitches at a recreation ground.

Devastated coaches are furious after the raiders ran amok at Brompton Recreation Ground, near Northallerton, causing damage with a quad bike, and a car. They are now calling for help to track down the vandals as police investigate.

Young footballers aged from five upwards face major disruption, with some games moved to 3G pitches at extra cost and more having to play away matches. Others have seeb games cancelled.

Coach Jonathan Smedley said the damage was caused between 5pm and 6pm on Saturday, March 11 when CCTV pictures show a quad bike and later a red Ford Fiesta and a white Fiat Punto arriving at the recreation ground, where a barrier had mistakenly been left unlocked.

The vehicles went through the gate, and the quad bike went round the grounds churning up pitches used by the junior football club. Areas used by many local walkers have also been affected.

Mr Smedley said: “They had masks on but the CCTV shows the quad bike was there for over ten minutes. They came from the direction of Darlington/ Appleton Wiske and left towards Brompton. We have seen the registration plates and have contacted the police who are investigating.

"They have made a right mess, this is going to be expensive damage for the club, we won’t be able to use some of the pitches for a while. It’s going to potentially cause a fair few games to be called off.

The Northern Echo:

“This is deliberate, it has been done on purpose and it is criminal damage. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it, I was really angry and then disappointed, it is terrible, why would someone do this?

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“It is so sad for the young footballers, the under 10s and under 11s particularly have been badly affected. Up to 200 young footballers could be affected. Not only can we not practice, more games will have to be played away, we will have to use more 3G pitches which will cost money, and for the parents and supporters it is devastating.

“The recreation ground will be badly hit because support for the café could be affected, it is terrible all round and there is absolutely no excuse or reason for this. We are asking anyone who knows anything about this or has any idea who could have done it to contact the police or send information to Brompton Juniors Football Club email at "

Anyone with information about those responsible is asked to call North Yorkshire Police on 101 and use the reference number 13032023-0458.