A man has blasted a ‘despicable act’ of vandalism after a football table in memory of East Preston’s paper boy was defaced.
On Thursday, April 12, the East Preston Film Society unveiled the concrete table in the north-east corner of the Village Green which they paid for to honour Peter Field.
He worked in Hedgers Newsagents in Sea Road, East Preston for 60 years before passing away from leukaemia on March 10.
The next day, one of the players had been stolen, leaving the others in disarray, and the plaques on the table had been ripped off and reglued with expanding foam.
An Allen key was needed to remove the pole and take off the player.
Paul Amoo, founder of the East Preston Film Society, said: “Whoever did this, it was a despicable act. We did this to remember a community giant, and to have done this less than 24 hours after it was unveiled is despicable.”
By Saturday, April 14, Gavin MacDonald, who lived nearby, fixed both plaques. The football table company is sending a replacement player.
Paul thanked the ‘community-minded’ neighbour for fixing the plaques, which read: “In memory of Peter Field, who loved and lived in East Preston Village all his life”.
Hundreds of wellwishers turned out to pay their respects to Peter, whose coffin was driven past his old shop on the way to St Mary’s Church in East Preston for his funeral on April 4.
Dawn Fletcher-Field, the newsagent’s daughter-in-law, said the funeral went well.
With her husband Colin, Peter’s son, Dawn attended the unveiling and said it was a big success. She said: “What we really like is that people are enjoying it and using it.”
She put the vandalism down to a drunken prank. She said: “It is so mindless, and people just don’t think. They think they are being funny, and in fact it is quite hurtful.
“I’m a great believer that people should think about the importance of their actions.”
Paul did not report the incident to the police.
This comes after a wave of vandalism-related incidents in Arun. Chief Inspector Kris Ottery urged residents to report every crime to 101, so officers could work out crime hotspots.