The £250,000 restoration of the iconic Salford Lads Club – which featured on the cover of The Smiths‘ 1986 album ‘The Queen Is Dead’ – has been dealt a severe blow after thieves stole lead and guttering from the roof.
The Grade II listed club in St Ignatius Walk, Ordsall, has been left open to the elements as a result of the raid with heavy rain pouring inside for several days.
Volunteers and workmen have been working all week to bail water out of the famous boxing ring – but plasterwork and wooden panelling have been badly affected.
The club is now having to use some of the restoration fund to pay a security firm to patrol the site.
A spokesman for the project said repair work would add “thousands” to the overall cost.
“We are devastated by this criminal act,” he said. “The thieves have basically stolen from Ordsall kids’ futures.
“We were just about to start work on the roof and all the scaffolding had just been put up.
“When the roofers arrived on site on Tuesday they thought they could hear a tap running inside, but it was actually rain water pouring through the roof.”
The club is one of the few original lads’ clubs still standing in England and is virtually unchanged with original fittings including a boxing ring, snooker rooms and a brick-walled gym with a viewing balcony.
A total of £1m is needed for repairs and improvements with £250,000 already raised for the roofing work.
Ironically, ‘The Queen Is Dead’ contains the track ‘Vicar In A Tutu’ where the narrator happily admits “I was minding my business/ Lifting some lead off/ The roof of the Holy Name church“.