BALACLAVA-CLAD robbers have made off with thousands of pounds from a Cirencester club after reportedly striking members with a bar stool.

A trio of robbers entered The New Social and Services Club on Chesterton Lane shortly before 1am today, with their faces covered by balaclavas.

Three male club members, aged 62, 62 and 70 years old, were inside at the time.

After confronting the men, one robber is said to have picked up a bar stool and swiped it at the three men, hitting one man over the head.

The three thieves are then reported to have stolen a safe containing several thousand pounds from the club, before escaping by the front door.

It is believed the men may have escaped on foot but it is unclear what direction they went in.

Ambulance crews and police were called to the scene and the 70-year-old man was taken to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital with head injuries and facial swelling, not believed to be life threatening.

Another man was taken to hospital with a suspected broken jaw and the third man was treated for shock.

Police attended the scene and have cordoned off the area while investigations are carried out.

Former committee member Anthony Kember said the social club has had financial problems for several years and this theft was likely to have a devastating impact.

He added that the club was the victim of robbery around four years ago when thieves stole alcohol, cigarettes and a safe containing £6,000, but measures had been taken to improve security since then.

Anyone with information can call Gloucestershire Police on 101, quoting incident number 10 of December 10.