Essex

FC Clacton has defibrillator stolen from ground

FC Clacton Image copyright Google
Image caption FC Clacton said its "faith in humanity" had been restored after a donation to replace a stolen defibrillator

A football club said its "faith in humanity has been restored" after a stolen defibrillator was replaced.

The life-saving equipment was taken during a break-in at Essex club FC Clacton's Austin Arena overnight on Saturday.

The £1,000 piece of kit has been replaced free of charge, the club said.

FC Clacton said it had received support from fellow non-league teams and fans on social media with offers of contributions towards the costs.

Club secretary Kevin King said the break-in had spoilt a good day with the team winning in the FA Cup on Saturday [a 3-0 win at home to St Margaretsby in the extra preliminary qualifying round) and the club taking part in the town's carnival.

"It is a sad world. I can't understand why somebody would target that sort of thing," he said.

"It looks like there was an opportunity and somebody thought it was worth something.

"I am at a loss for words."

'So nasty'

But he said a positive from the incident was the support from the community.

The club announced a replacement had been donated by Cardiac Science while the damage caused by the break-in had been repaired free of charge by a local company.

In a statement the club said: "Our faith in humanity restored, we can go back to reflecting on a great day, and looking forward to facing Witham Town in the next round of the FA Cup, at home at the Austin Arena."

Mr King said: "Out of something so nasty to happen to us it just proves there's people around in the non-league community and the wider community who are willing to offer to help."

Essex Police is investigating the theft and anyone with information about it is asked to call the force on 101.

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