A RUGBY club has been forced to launch a fundraiser after “mindless vandals” destroyed a set of their goal posts.

Benfleet Vikings Rugby Club, based in Brook Road, Benfleet, needs to raise £1,200 after their goalposts were torn down and damaged at the weekend.

A fundraising page has been set up and has already achieved a third of the target but club chairman Adrian Boyce is hopeful the community will help them go all the way.

Mr Boyce, who helped set up the club in 2013, said: “Words cannot express our frustration.

“We went to the club on Sunday morning for a bit of fun and games with the kids and found the posts had been lifted out of their holes and then dropped them on the floor.

“This caused a lot of damage to the poles because they became twisted and bent.”

Mr Boyce said the club had to gain sponsorship in the first place just to be able to buy the goalposts and they are not in a financial position to replace them without a fundraiser.

He added: “The Vikings is a relatively new club trying to build something for the people of Benfleet and Hadleigh.

“We have members from as young as six up to a senior adult men’s side. We work and support our local schools to grow the game and provide something for youngsters to do.

“You would hope they would take us up on this instead of filling their time by going round and damaging property.

“We had to get sponsorship to supply the posts when we started and they have already been vandalised once before.

“We have had to take the posts down and store them until we can get them fixed.

“Hopefully they can be mended and don’t need replacing from scratch.”

Club organisers initially stored the posts on the roof of the pavilion but vandals - whether the same or a different group - returned and dragged them down, causing more damage to the poles and the pavilion itself.

He added: “We’ve already had a lovely response from the community and lots of messages of support on social media which is great.

“If anybody wants to get involved, we are always looking for volunteers.”

Anyone with information about the vandalism should contact Essex Police on 101.

To donate to the cause, visit gofundme.com/Benfleet-Vikings-Goal-Post-Repairs.