Club’s big step forward overshadowed as former home is wrecked in arson attack

A police investigation has been launched into a suspected arson attack on a building which holds precious memories for Tring’s biggest football club.

The blaze at Tring Athletic’s former clubhouse in Miswell Lane raged for just over an hour on Monday afternoon, and took five crews to tackle it.

Fire at the old Tring Athletic football ground in Miswell Lane, Tring

Fire at the old Tring Athletic football ground in Miswell Lane, Tring

Firefighters from stations in Tring, Berkhamsted, Hemel Hempstead and Kings Langley were called to the single-storey timber building, which was the club’s original home from 1958, at 2.35pm.

Two hosereels and two breathing apparatus kits were used to put out the flames, which were mainly contained to the roof of the building, but there was a limited water supply at the scene. It was put out by 3.37pm.

The football club, whose A and B teams still play at the Miswell Lane base, this week announced they were looking forward to a bright future after just securing ownership of their main ground at Pendley Sports Centre on Cow Lane – report, page 53

Club chairman Mick Eldridge said: “That was a big positive for us, but it has been followed by a big negative.

“This was our original home and we had substantially improved it, and spent many enjoyable hours there.

“It has been vandalised quite a lot in the last two or three years, and it could be kids who might want to play for us at some stage.

“It’s not pleasant at all as we have very fond memories there, and I have no idea of the cost.”

A club spokesman added: “Many of us have put in hundreds of hours of work building and developing a club for the local community. Sadly mindless actions like this can wipe out years of hard work.

“Our thanks go to the Herts Fire Service for containing the blaze.”

Herts police spokesman Olivia Finucane said: “If anyone saw anyone running away from the area prior to or just after the incident took place, call us on 101 using the reference number D3/13/362.”

Herts Fire and Rescue Service also issued a warning to summer holiday firebugs about the dangers of committing arson, after a series of smaller blazes took place in Dacorum over the weekend.