Precious pictures taken in gala theft

Norman Tiffin: Secretary of Fryston Spartans FC Juniors. A recent memorial tournament to Norman's wife, Christine, was ruined when burglars broke into the ground the night before, and stole all the food, a laptop and sports equipment & kits.'p312a329
Norman Tiffin: Secretary of Fryston Spartans FC Juniors. A recent memorial tournament to Norman's wife, Christine, was ruined when burglars broke into the ground the night before, and stole all the food, a laptop and sports equipment & kits.'p312a329

A junior football club has been left devastated after heartless thieves struck just hours before it held a major memorial tournament.

Intruders broke into a marquee, caravan and car at Fryston Spartans FC at Fryston Welfare ground on Askham Road in the early hours of Saturday morning, taking food intended for the two-day tournament.

Heartbreakingly the thieves also took mobile phones and a laptop belonging to club secretary Norman Tiffin, who founded the club with his late wife Christine, who died of cancer two years ago, containing irreplaceable pictures of her.

The theft took place just hours before the Christine Tiffin Memorial Gala was due to start.

Mr Tiffin said: “The laptop had all our football fixtures on, but it’s the photos of my wife that was the most upsetting thing.

“All the kids were upset when they found out because a lot of them knew her.

“My wife and I founded the club, we wanted to do something for the children.”

Mr Tiffin had been sleeping in the caravan, one of three staff sleeping on the site when the break-in took place.

As well as taking all the food planned for the gala, along with equipment like walkie talkies, a camera and a satnav, the intruders also took a box of sports kits, which they then strewed across the field.

More than 70 football teams from across Yorkshire were due to take part in the two-day tournament, meaning staff and volunteers had to hurriedly replace the stolen food so the event could take place.

Brian King, U12s coach and chairman, discovered the theft when he arrived on Saturday morning.

He said: “We were all in a state of shock for about half-an-hour, and then we realised the show must go on. Fortunately as more people started arriving we started rushing around to reorganise.”

Castleford neighbourhood policing team is investigating the theft, which happened between 2.30am and 4am, and is appealing for anyone who saw anything suspicious to contact it on 101.