'Idiotic' youths slammed after climbing onto Wrexham's Racecourse roof

Reporter:

Jonathan Grieve

Wrexham AFC bosses have condemned “idiotic” youngsters who risked life and limb climbing onto The Racecourse roof before uploading a video of their actions online.

Club director John Mills said the youth who filmed the escapade, identified on YouTube only as ‘Wazza’, risked serious injury or possibly even death by scaling the fragile Kop roof.

Another youngster was with him during the process.

A youth filmed himself balancing precariously on the Racecourse roof, above

Mr Mills said the club could now be forced to fork out a significant cost to make the stadium more secure and prevent others from gaining access in the same way.

In the video, one of the youths can be seen approaching the rear of the Kop up a bank to the stand itself, before using a tree to get onto the roof.

The youngster then walks along the edge of the roof before clambering down
into the stadium.

Mr Mills said yesterday: “With regard to the idiotic actions of this youth, we became aware of it late on Monday evening.

“Basically, access to the ground has been via the land owned by Wrexham Village, who have no fencing in place in the area where the former perimeter wall was in place before being demolished to build the flats.

“I was at the ground at daybreak to take a look around, and found their property in a very sorry state, with the now infamous sofas that were visible from Crispin Lane now piled up behind some bushes with some wooden pallets – a fire risk at the best of times.

“We have today approached Wrexham Village regarding this lack of fencing and the condition of the area which is, in my opinion, quite poor.”

The Kop terrace has been closed for several years, with Wrexham AM and Reds fan Lesley Griffiths saying in yesterday’s Leader that “the priority must be to redevelop the Kop” in terms of future plans for the stadium.

Mr Mills added: “We have also informed the police about the ground trespass, and appropriate measures will be taken.

“Although we have some fencing in place at the rear of the Kop stand, we are now re-examining the entire security at the rear of that stand, and also placing extra warning signage and anti-climbing deterrents in the environs of that area.

“I cannot stress how dangerous this stupid stunt has been.

“With the fragile condition of the stand roof, we could have been looking at fatalities.”

He continued: ”As with any property, you can only secure it to a certain level, and stadiums of The Racecourse’s size, with its less than modern footprint design, are particularly difficult to secure – with the determined trespasser always being able to find a way in.

“However, at what may be considerable cost to the club, we are, as previously mentioned, looking at the best way of ensuring this does not happen again.

“But, given the
alternative of possible serious injury to idiotic thrillseekers, we regard the cost, although detrimental to other areas of the club, as essential.

“Personally, I would ask people not to bother viewing what such idiots post on YouTube.

“It is only the air of publicity that encourages such moronic behaviour.”

The video has been viewed more than 900 times since being uploaded to YouTube last week.

The faces of both youths who climbed the roof could be clearly seen in the video.

A North Wales Police spokesman said a video showing two teenage boys on the roof of The Racecourse had been reported to them.

However, as there was no criminal damage, it was considered a civil matter.

l Leader Comment – see page 13.

Email:

jonathan.grieve@nwn.co.uk

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  • NeilCooke

    15:03, 21 September 2017

    Well done, hope you enjoyed watching children put themselves at risk. The kop roof is not designed to be walked on by big fat lads, and hence fragile, but more that safe enough for its intended use of providing shelter and also insurance purposes.However, the club seem put more value on human life than you apparently do. The tree you refer to is actually on Wrexham Village property, so the football club have no rights to cut any tree down.There is a fence around the Kop, but,as you probably skimmed through in the article, it won't prevent anyone determined to break in to the ground. If anything that is said prevents the loss of human life, its well worth having people like you trying to find fault with the football club rather than the immature fools that put their own lives at risk. Bit of a psychological fail on your part? Caveman = Troll

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  • The Caveman

    15:03, 20 September 2017

    Thanks for the heads-up on the video. Telling me not to view the YouTube footage was guaranteed to make me go and look at it! The Kop roof didn't look fragile to me, but if it is then you should remove the roof sheeting before it is blown away by a winter storm. Is the stand still covered by your stadium insurance? Surely the insurers insist on the roof being secure? Perhaps you could cut the tree down to stop people getting up on the roof as there didn't seem to be any other way up there and I'm sure you have a health and safety liability to take all reasonable steps to protect the public - at least one of the club's fan-owners must be qualified to cut down trees. However, I suspect that you are laying things on thick just to try and scare people from going up there. Yet another psychology failure! Just bite the bullet and secure the stadium - both the law and your insurers require this. You would certainly make sure The Kop was secured if it was still in use - to stop people sneaking in without paying!

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