Football fan museum targeted by vandals

Graffiti on the platform opposite the museum
The platform opposite the museum was also targeted [Fans Museum Sunderland]

A Grade II listed museum building has been targeted with graffiti, prompting fears of more vandalism in the area.

Michael Ganley, the director of the Fans Museum Sunderland, based in the city's former Monkwearmouth station, worries it is "a matter of time" before the antisocial behaviour goes further.

Network Rail, which owns the building, said it would look into the incident and visit the site to assess the graffiti.

Sunderland City Council said it was "sad" to see the building had been targeted.

Mr Ganley said the graffiti had been appearing regularly over for the past six weeks, with both the museum building and the platform opposite targeted.

"It's just a matter of time before it goes further," the 53-year-old added.

"We could be losing a real nice piece of regional heritage.

"To see the graffiti doesn't shine a positive light on Sunderland when the trains are going by and all of the metros are going by."

He added the community was "in uproar" over the vandalism.

Green graffiti on the stone wall of the museum building
Some of the graffiti found on the museum building [ Fans Museum Sunderland]

Sunderland City Council urged people to report antisocial behaviour and added: "It is sad to see that vandals have targeted one of the city’s historic buildings in this way."

Aside from housing a huge collection of football memorabilia, the museum also works in the community.

Prior to the graffiti, Mr Ganley said the building had been targeted by thieves, with nine break-ins in the space of six months last year.

Mr Ganley, who took over the lease of the building in 2017, said the impact had been "soul-destroying".

"It's extremely hard," he said. "It's very challenging. But I've invested my life into the museum."

He added he would like to get the opposite platform into his lease to make it look better and "deter opportunists".

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