PICTURES: Bunwell AFC may have to fold after arsonists target sports hall
A Sunday league manager has told of his “devastation” after arsonists targeted a village sports hall — meaning his side may have to fold.
Bunwell Sports Hall in Wood Lane was set on fire just after midnight on Wednesday morning. Crews from Sprowstron, Long Stratton and Attleborough tackled the blaze for nearly an hour and no one was injured.
But Chunk Elphick-Wilson, who manages Norwich Sunday League Bunwell AFC, said kits, nets, balls, and training equipment worth thousands had been lost in the fire.
The club was formed two years ago, has 41 players and two teams on its books, and was hoping to introduce a women’s and a youth side in the future. It had also hosted community charity events.
A JustGiving page has now been launched to try and raise the funds to keep the club from folding.
Mr Elphick-Wilson, 21, said he was “devastated” when he heard the news — and said the building, which also had changing facilities, had been “battered”.
We have created it ourselves and to see it up in flames...it is a lot to take in
“I am working nights so I had just got in from work and I got a call from the chairman (Ryan Wheeler) and I went straight down there and saw it,” he said. “I could not believe it.
“It is something we have put an incredible amount of time and effort into.
“We have created it ourselves and to see it up in flames...it is a lot to take in.
“We do a lot of stuff in the local community and we don’t want others to miss out.
“It is very possible the club could fold. From our point of view we are doing everything we possibly can to stop it from folding.”
Bunwell AFC will play this weekend’s fixture against North Walsham at Tacolneston’s ground.
Anyone who has any information on the fire is asked to contact police on 101.
If you can help, visit their JustGiving donation page here.