Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Footballer's Home Is Smashed Up by Balaclava Yobs

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Footballer's Home Is Smashed Up by Balaclava Yobs

Article excerpt

Byline: Sophie Doughty Crime Reporter

A LUCKY-to-be-alive semi-pro footballer who suffered a heart attack on the pitch has been targeted by yobs who smashed up his home.

Standing among the broken glass at his smashed-up terrace, Mark Eccles is today struggling to understand why anyone would want to attack his house.

The semi-pro footballer was at work when a balaclava-clad trio stormed his terrace and used bricks and baseball bats to smash every window at the front.

Police described the incident, which happened in full view of drinkers at the pub next door, as a "premeditated attack".

But Mark has no idea why he was its target and as officers appealed for help to catch those behind the mindless spree, Mark told of his shock.

The 32-year-old said: "The police are worried I'm being targeted, but I just don't know why. They also think they could have waited for me to go out. And there's no knowing what they would have done if I had been in.

"I was at work and I just received a phone call off the owners of the pub next door, informing me all my windows had been put out," he said. "At first I thought they were joking. But then they said; 'You will have to get yourself back'."

Carer Mark travelled home from the children's home in Newcastle where he was working a night shift, and found the front of his home had been attacked.

"Every window at the front had been put out. And I had some French shutters put in and they had been smashed in."

Mark's home, on Sherburn Terrace in Consett, is now boarded-up like an empty property.

And as the hunt for the gang continues, the Consett AFC footballer is wondering why he has been the victim of such a destructive attack.

"I have got no idea why they would do this to me," he said. "I have been racking my brains but I haven't upset anybody or said anything.

They haven't left any message or anything so I just can't understand it. …

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