Mindless thugs destroy beer garden night before lockdown lifts but locals fight back

The thugs, though, smashed through fences and picnic tables, leaving a trail of destruction at the social club in South Bank, Middlesbrough.

But today the community rallied together to help Mark in a desperate bid to get The Albion open for this afternoon.

Mark, who himself was born and raised in Middlesbrough, said: “I have to be strong for my wife, we’ll come back stronger.

“It cost me about £2,000, and we’re not making anything at the moment.

“I’ve ran football teams and clubs all my life to make South Bank a better place.

“I opened the club to give our kids something for the future, to get people including the elderly out.”

Neighbours saw the yobs causing chaos late on Sunday night and called Mark, who rushed to the social club.

The brave neighbour managed to scare the vandals away and is now helping in the rescue mission.

And John Taylor, from landlord Parker Barass, sent employees to assist.

John said: “Mark rented the building last September, he’s spent a lot of time and money building up his trade.

“He’s extended the garden to hold about 100 people, ready to open back up – it’s all been smashed.

“It’s just a shame that someone’s done this, we felt sorry for him so some of our lads came down about 7am to help get it back into shape so he can open.

“There are quite a few people coming down today.”

John continued: “Hardworking people trying to improve the area and create a club the community can be proud of.

“I know this mindless vandalism will not stop Mark opening today and the people of South Bank and beyond will be there supporting them by having a drink or two.

Cleveland Police received a report of “damage caused to fencing and benches in the garden area” of the club.

Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call 101, quoting incident number 57132.

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