'Mindless' vandals target Bristol Rovers football war memorial

The Memorial Gates Image copyright Bristol Rovers
Image caption It is the second time the Bristol Rovers' Memorial Gates have seemingly been targeted by vandals supporting Bristol City

"Mindless" vandals have daubed graffiti on a World War One memorial at the entrance to a football ground.

Red paint was discovered on Bristol Rovers' memorial gates - which remember rugby players who lost their lives - on Thursday morning.

The message - "Merry Xmas from CS.F" - is a reference to a group of hardcore Bristol City fans, although it is not known who left the graffiti.

Both clubs have condemned the actions of a "mindless minority".

Bristol Rovers spokesman Keith Brookman said: "We don't feel that real City fans would have done this. Hopefully they will help us name and shame the people who did this."

In a statement Bristol City executive director Doug Harman said: "Bristol City Football Club are appalled to hear a minority of so-called City supporters have desecrated the Memorial Gates.

"Anyone found guilty of carrying out this mindless act of vandalism will face a lifetime ban from Ashton Gate.

"In the spirit of Christmas, we are working with Rovers to ensure that the graffiti is removed as soon as possible."

Image copyright Bristol Rovers
Image caption The graffiti is being cleaned off the Memorial Gates after the two football clubs condemned the "disgusting" behaviour

Other football supporters have also tweeted their disgust at the vandalism.

Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter

It is the second time the gates have been vandalised.

In 2010 City fans raised funds for a clean-up after tags associated with the club were sprayed on the memorial.

Bristol Rovers have said the vandalism has been reported to the police and urged "anyone who knows any of the people involved in this disgraceful incident, we respectfully ask you to report the matter to them as soon as possible".

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