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‘Hooligans’ attack turf

By Don Farmer

[email protected]

Mindless vandalism of a Masterton football pitch, which could cost hundreds of dollars to repair, has angered club officials.

Ivan Cartmell, patron of Masterton Association Football Club, said sometime on Sunday or Monday vandals hacked up part of the no. 1 pitch, smashed water meters that feed both the club’s facilities and the nearly Riding for The Disabled, and attacked a memorial seat donated to the club by the widow of a former stalwart.

“It’s terribly disappointing, we are trying to provide a sports facility for the town and we don’t expect hooligans to come along and try to wreck it,” he said.

The vandals dug up parts of the pitch using two small shovels they had left behind.

Mr Cartmell, 79, said the recovered tools did not belong to the club and were obviously stolen and used for the purpose.

On the wooden handles of the small shovels are several letters and the word “sand pit” which suggests they were taken from a children’s playground.

“My heart is in this club and I hate to see any damage done to it.

“I joined in 1955 and had about 10 years playing Central League back in the late 1960s and 70s,” Mr Cartmell said.

The vandalism has been reported to both the police and to Masterton District Council, and club members have vowed to now keep a close eye on the sportsground named after the late Bob Hullena, especially after dark.

The seat attacked by the vandals thankfully suffered mostly superficial damage.

It was donated to the club by Thelma Sewell, wife of the late Bill Sewell, a prominent Masterton businessman who was a life member of the club, as well as a former club treasurer and patron.


  1. Disgracefull, no need for this.. there are more good people in Mastertonfc than bad,, the. Club is the heart of the town.. I enjoyed my time there in the mid Eighties as a player..hope it does not spoil the football.

    Joe Smith

  2. To all the club members , this club has to much history and to much invested in it by those who contributed and developed the club to be put off by mindless idiots who get some sad kick out of damaging other peoples hard work and pleasures
    Would be happy to make a donation to the restoration
    please advise how this can be done.

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Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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