League legend slams 'mad Monday': POLL

CONCERNED: Former league player and Maitland councillor Brian Burke outside Maitland Sportsground.  	Picture by PERRY DUFFIN

CONCERNED: Former league player and Maitland councillor Brian Burke outside Maitland Sportsground. Picture by PERRY DUFFIN

Hunter rugby league legend and Maitland councillor Brian Burke has slammed the end-of-season tradition of mad Monday after vandals damaged two of the city’s sports facilities this week.

Maitland Sportsground was targeted, with tyre tracks left across the playing surface on Monday, while the dressing shed at Telarah’s Coronation Oval was vandalised.

It is not clear who is responsible for the ­damage.

Cr Burke was outraged at the incidents, which he believed were related to the traditional end-of-season mad Monday activities for sporting teams across the region, but stopped short of accusing specific clubs of causing the damage.

Cr Burke was the Maitland Pickers’ first grade halfback during the rugby league team’s legendary four-premiership run between 1965 and 1973.

“In my day we would have a game of golf, a couple of beers and a barbecue [to celebrate the end of the season],” he said.

“Sports people used to be role models in the community. 

“Some of the behaviour now is totally ­unacceptable.

“The [damage] at Coronation Oval really upsets me, because I’m a Wests [Maitland] junior.”

Damage inside the Coronation Oval dressing sheds included a broken toilet and smashed fluorescent lights, with the repair bill estimated to be about $500.

Meanwhile, two garbage bins and a fridge owned by the Pickers was set alight at Maitland Sportsground on Monday.

A car also gained access to the field through a gate that was usually locked, and left extensive tyre tracks across the field.

Maitland City Council estimated damage to be worth about $1000.

Cr Burke blamed the poor example that elite sports people, particularly National Rugby League players, set with their end-of-season antics.

“If clubs are responsible for the damage, they will be paying,” he said.

“I will follow this through to the letter of the law.”

Community and recreation services manager Lynn Morton said council would send emails to all sporting clubs to remind them of their responsibilities when using council facilities.

“Clubs will be responsible for cleaning up and covering the cost of any damage to these facilities,” she said. 

“Fines may also be sent out to clubs that do not follow council’s directions.”

“The [damage] at Coronation Oval really upsets me, because I’m a Wests [Maitland] junior.”

Damage inside the Coronation Oval dressing sheds included a broken toilet and smashed fluorescent lights, with the repair bill estimated to be about $500.

Meanwhile, two garbage bins and a fridge owned by the Pickers was set alight at Maitland Sportsground on Monday.

A car also gained access to the field through a gate that was usually locked, and left extensive tyre tracks across the field.

Maitland City Council estimated damage to be worth about $1000.

Cr Burke blamed the poor example that elite sports people, particularly National Rugby League players, set with their end-of-season antics.

“If clubs are responsible for the damage, they will be paying,” he said.

“I will follow this through to the letter of the law.”

Community and recreation services manager Lynn Morton said council would send emails to all sporting clubs to remind them of their responsibilities when using council facilities.

“Clubs will be responsible for cleaning up and covering the cost of any damage to these facilities,” she said. 

“Fines may also be sent out to clubs that do not follow council’s directions.”

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