VANDALS tried to destroy a life-saving defibrillator just weeks after it was installed at a football ground in Ramsbottom.

The cardiac defibrillator was put in place at Ramsbottom United Junior Football Club’s home ground in Top Park, Bolton Road West, as part of the club’s ongoing investment into the local community.

However ,vandals targeted the equipment when they threw stones at the box it is stored in, in what was believed to be an attempt to smash into it.

Ruth Dowd, club secretary, said: “Luckily the box is strong and the defibrillator is still intact but we cannot believe that mindless people will try to damage lifesaving equipment.

“I’m proud that it is on the wall of the clubhouse and can be used not only by the players but also by members of the public.

“The club is looking into CCTV, as unfortunately it is felt added protection is required, but this is expensive and will only serve to put additional strain on our already challenged club funds.”

The club, which is run by a group of dedicated volunteers, caters for 27 teams of local children, ranging from aged five to 18.

Funding for the defibrillator was secured by under-7s coach, Paul Graham, who approached Vic Graham Ltd, Fish and Chip Co in Ramsbottom and The Bridge Fish and Chips in Norden for their support.

Staff from the North West Ambulance service gave the club’s football coaches and parents a training session on how to use the defibrillator, prior to the damage.

Ruth added: “I’m grateful to Paul Graham, our under-7s coach, for organising the funding to purchase the defibrillator.

“I also am delighted that the funds raised at last year’s Fun and Presentation Day enabled us to purchase the secure box for the defibrillator which protected it.”

Any reports of vandalism should be reported to Greater Manchester Police on 101.