Fury over concrete football

July 29 2019

A FOOTBALL which had been filled with concrete and left with a sinister note saying 'Bet that hurt' has sparked anger among members of the community.

A FOOTBALL which had been filled with concrete and left with a sinister note saying 'Bet that hurt' has sparked anger among members of the community.
The blue and white leather ball was discovered by a dog walker at Pomphrey Hill who promptly removed the offending item.
One of ball's pentagonal panels had been cut out, concrete poured inside and left to set until it was rock solid.
The walker, who does not want to be named, posted a photo on Staple Hill and Mangotsfield Residents Facebook page saying: “Found and removed this from the upper cricket pitch at Pomphrey last night (July 7), a sick joke waiting to cause someone some pain, a concrete filled football with some kind messages written on.”
Dozens of group members responded by condemning the actions of the culprit, saying the consequences could have been dire.
One woman said: “What is wrong with people playing sick jokes on innocent people, what sort of mind would think of something so horrible as to hurt someone?”
Another man posted: “That could change someone's life. If someone were to kick that full pelt they could suffer from injuries that would take months to recover from. A really nasty, nasty thing to do.”
The ball, which has now been destroyed by police, was estimated to have weighed between 15 and 20kg. It had been designed to keep the ball looking as round and realistic as possible.
Staple Hill councillor Ian Boulton told Downend Voice he contacted the Staple Hill and Mangotsfield neighbourhood beat team and arranged to drop the ball off at the police station.
He said: “What may have seemed like a thoughtless joke could have caused serious and life changing injuries to anyone who unwittingly tried to kick the ball. Given that this 'football’ was left on a playing field this could have been a real possibility. Thankfully due to the vigilance of one of our residents the police were informed and the ball has now been destroyed.”
A police spokesman said: “We received an email on July 9 at about 8.20am reporting that on Sunday July 7 at about 8pm a football was found on Pomphrey Hill playing fields . It had been filled with concrete and left in the middle of a cricket pitch.
“Various messages were written on the outside of the ball, which suggested it was a malicious act. Anyone with information should contact us quoting call card 0572 of the 9 July.”