CRUEL vandals have left Glasgow schoolchildren devastated after a brand-new 3G pitch was wrecked just days after it was opened.

A gang of youths, armed with hammers, covered the Blairdardie Primary School facility with mess on Monday night after smashing up the security padlocks and scaling the fences.

Meanwhile, over the weekend, dozens of people – including families with prams and dogs – helped themselves to the pitch to play football and host picnics.

Heartbroken staff were forced to keep children away from the site due to the shards of glass and cigarette butts among the debris.

Headteacher Alison Pears said: “We’re really disappointed. This was the first weekend there was no security as City Building had just handed over the pitch to us last week.

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“We came in on Monday to discover the most awful mess on the pitch. There was bottles dog mess, cigarettes and takeaways.

“The whole of the pitch was just covered in it and then it happened again on Tuesday morning.”

Youngsters weren’t able to use the facility for gym classes, which must be outside due to strict social distancing guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A police enquiry has now been launched to trace the vandals.

The area’s councillor Paul Carey said: “People are having picnics on it at the weekend and my biggest fear is that someone puts something hot on the pitch and it gets damaged.

“In order to protect the pitch, the gates have been locked, however, it appears that young adults are turning up with hammers to break the padlocks.

“Let me be clear about this, under no circumstances should anyone be going around carrying a hammer.

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“I spoke to the police and they are aware of this, so I expect anyone caught carrying a hammer could find themselves in serious trouble.“

Councillor Chris Cunningham, city convener for education, skills and early years, said: “I know that this type of behaviour will anger and disappoint many people in the school and local community.

“We know that things are really tough at the moment but we can’t have our schools and community facilities being damaged in this way and resulting in our pupils not being able to get outdoors – especially at a time when outdoor learning is more important.

“Please treat these facilities with the respect they deserve.”