Lights go out at Sir Matt Busby centre

sir matt busby - astraturf - home off bellshill athletic
sir matt busby - astraturf - home off bellshill athletic

Thieves last week forced North Lanarkshire Leisure to suspend evening football activities at the Sir Matt Busby Sports Complex.

The Bellshill facility was targeted when internal components were stolen from control boxes at the base of the centre’s floodlight pylons.

The theft, which took place between 10pm last Wednesday and 10am last Thursday, was the latest in a spate of similar incidents at sports facilities throughout North Lanarkshire.

It’s understood that components are being taken for scrap value - but the Bellshill boxes were damaged beyond repair, forcing the cancellation of evening football and other activities at the complex until replacement work could be carried out.

It’s believed that those responsible climbed over the high perimeter fencing to gain entry to the park before forcing open all but one of the eight control boxes for each floodlight.

A spokesperson for NLL said: “It’s very unfortunate that this has happened and we share everyone’s frustration that users cannot use the facilities.

“However we are working as hard as we can to make sure the work necessary to get the pitches back into use is done as quickly as possible.

“In the meantime we would urge anyone who knows anything about this, or any other similar incidents, to contact their local police office.”

Anyone with information should phone Police Scotland on 101 or call Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111.