A CWMBRAN football team have been left "gutted" after a defibrillator donated to the club after the death of one of their players was stolen following a break in.

Chris Hallett, vice chairman of Lucas Cwmbran AFC, said the automated external defibrillator (AED) was reported stolen from the clubhouse they share with the Girling RFC rugby team on Thursday night.

"It was reported to me on social media that it look like there had been a break in," he said. "I went down and found the fire exit door was wide open.

"It could've been any time during the lockdown - the last time we were there was after the storms, as we had started to try and clean up the place from that."

The AED was donated to the club after the death of their player Derrick Williams, who suffered a cardiac arrest in a training match in July 2019.

"That really affected everyone at the club," said Mr Hallett. "We put on fundraising matches and events to try and raise enough for a defibrillator.

"The FAW work with Welsh Hearts and are trying to get an AED at every football ground. They heard about our story and donated the AED to us.

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(Derrick Williams died after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest while playing in a training game last July. Picture: Lucas Cwmbran AFC)

"We had a personal carrier bag AED, so we are now looking to to get one installed in a secure box mounted on the wall of the building, making it available to the whole community."

This secure box costs around £1,000 to install.

To cover the costs of the installation, the club have set up a GoFundMe page.

"The response has been amazing," said Mr Hallett. "It shot up so far in the first 48 hours.

"It just shows our community and the football community is a close knit thing, and what we are trying to do is of value to the community."

"I think it's despicable that someone can go an take something that is here to save lives."

Mr Hallett said this was one of "about half a dozen" break-ins at the club over the last six months.

"Just before the storms thieves ripped the doors off the back of the building and smashed the patio doors.

"If there are any members of the community out there who can help us secure the building after the break-ins and the flood damage - once social distancing is lifted - we would be very grateful for any materials or labour."

Greenmeadow ward councillor offered the club £500 of small schemes allowance funding to help replace the stolen AED.

He said: "I was saddened to hear about the theft of the defibrillator given what the club has gone through in the last year with the loss of a much loved player.

"Lucas AFC and Girling RFC are great community clubs and I was more than happy to do what I can to support them."

If you want to donate, the GoFundMe page can be found at gofundme.com/f/help-replace-stolen-aed

If you have any information on the theft, contact Gwent Police using the crime reference number: 69 18/4/2020.