TAMWORTH’S centenary of Rugby League Memorial at No 1 Oval was all but destroyed by vandals on the weekend.
The damage was discovered by a Tamworth Regional Council employee who had been working near the oval late on Tuesday afternoon.
Council’s parks and horticulture manager Brian Sheedy said council was working with North Tamworth Rugby League Club to repair the damage to the three-tier structure.
The club funded the construction of the memorial last year as part of celebrations marking 100 years of the game in the Tamworth region.
North Tamworth Rugby League Club played the first game of league in Tamworth at No. 1 Oval on July 22, 1911.
Club president Gary Chillingworth said the destruction of something so iconic was upsetting.
“The structure itself was the result of lots of planning and days of donated labour using donated materials,” he said.
“For some brain-dead peanut to come along and do that much damage is just devastating.”
It’s estimated the repairs for the damage will be about $1000, money Mr Chillingworth said the club doesn’t have “just laying around”.
“We are a not-for-profit sporting club,” he said.
“The money that will be needed to replace what’s been damaged is money that could be used elsewhere.”
The latest attack isn’t the first.
“We had some damage to one of the three pillars that make up the memorial about 12 months ago, just after the structures were put in place,” he said. “To see someone wilfully destroy something that is significant to the town’s sporting history is so
Mr Chillingworth said when the pillars were repaired this time there would be moves taken to try and vandal-proof them.
“The reality is we shouldn’t have to do that, they are already made of concrete and tiles and are made around a 100mm steel shaft,” he said.
He appealed to anyone with information to contact Tamworth police.
“We can’t pay a reward for information that leads to an arrest, charge and conviction,” he said. “But we are determined that this kind of wanton destruction isn’t just accepted and this is an issue that we won’t just let lie.”