A YOUTH football coach has been left devastated after the defibrillator he raised money for in honour of his late dad was smashed up by heartless yobs.

Neil Tustin was horrified to discover the lifesaving equipment left scattered in pieces in the rain at Highworth Town Junior Football Club.

Two years ago the Neil spearheaded a campaign which saw the club raise £1,400 for the defibrillator after his dad Will died having suffered a cardiac arrest at the age of 71.

The 45-year-old club volunteer said: "The defibrillator was found outside had been strewn all over the floor, left out in the rain overnight, the battery packs had been broken so it was completely unusable - I know how much it’s needed up there – 400 children that play for the club and their parents come, so it’s a vital bit of kit that’s needed if something were to happen.

"The incident has been reported to the police as well as CCTV footage of a few people entering the compound and grabbing it.”

He wrote in a Facebook post: "What sort of people jump into a compound and take a defibrillator off the wall and throw it around and smash it? That I raised money for! And to save people's lives if needed."

In 2020, the club raised money for the defibrillator in honour of Will, who was an active volunteer at Highworth Town Juniors and helped out by marking the lines on the youth pitches.

"It’s a community I love, I’m in the primary schools coaching football," added Neil. "The community have helped me considerably with the death of my dad, and when I lost my brother to suicide in Covid.

"The community has been a very big part of my life, would do anything to help."

When he launched his fundraising drive for the defibrillator in October 2019, Neil told the Adver: “It makes me feel close to my dad. I adore this club, it’s like a family.

"I want the extra defibrillator so that everyone can use it. I'm more aware of it now.

“I appreciate every penny and it’s a great cause. It could save a life in the future.”

Neil posted on Facebook about the vandalism and within 10 hours a flood of kind donations on his GoFundMe page had raised £2,220 towards a new one.

Neil said: "I just wanted to say a big thank you to the community for coming together – it was lovely to see. Not just Highworth, but Swindon came together."