GENEROUS companies have stepped in to help replace a defibrillator stolen from a football club by “scummy” thieves.

Crooks smashed their way into the hospitality area at FC Clacton’s Austin Arena, in Rush Green Road, Clacton, overnight on Saturday.

They made off with a defibrillator, which would have cost the club more than £1,000 to replace.

But the Cardiac Science company has stepped in to replace the stolen equipment.

Damage to a window was also repaired free of charge by Superior Exteriors, based on Clacton’s Oakwood Business Park.

A spokesman for the club said: “Some scummy lowlife broke into the club in the early hours of Sunday, causing damage and stealing our defibrillator.

“However, our initial shock and disgust at this act was soon forgotten as we were overwhelmed by kind offers of support and funding by our amazing supporters, the wider public, businesses and other clubs in the non-league community.

“The damage has been repaired at no charge by Martin Davidson, of Superior Exteriors, and Cardiac Science have donated a replacement defibrillator to the club.

“Thank you so much to everyone who offered to help, it is truly overwhelming and special thanks to Superior Exteriors and Cardiac Science.”

It is not thought that anything else was taken during the raid.

The hospitality area is intentionally left empty, but bosses did not think a thief would steal the life-saving equipment.

The club’s first-team manager Tom Austin said the “essential piece of life-saving kit” could be used by the first team, the reserves, the veterans and all the youth teams on a Sunday morning.

“It’s vital to have and for some low-life to steal it, and deprive our club, is disgusting,” he said.