Couple heartbroken by theft of family medals

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AN elderly couple have spoken of their heartache after callous thieves stole two rare sports medals dating back more than 80 years.

Anthony Johnson, 80, and his 79-year-old wife Rita say they have been left devastated since intruders broke into their home in Kenyon Street, Leigh, and escaped with cash and two rugby league medals produced in the 1930s and 1950s.

The couple were both at home at the time of the theft.

Mr Johnson said: “I was downstairs watching television and my wife was upstairs in bed, and neither of us heard a thing.

“We wanted to pass these medals on to the younger generations of our family. They have a lot of sentimental value so it’s been very upsetting to know they are in someone else’s hands.”

The offenders broke into the house through a window at the back and made their way upstairs. They went into the bedroom and took the items from a chest of drawers before leaving through the back door.

The first medal is described as being a silver Shaw Cup winner’s medal from the 1950s.

The second medal is gold and was presented to Rugby League referees for services to the game. It dates back to the 1930s and was a family heirloom.

Both were in presentation boxes.

Mr Johnson added: “The medals were awarded to my uncle and my grandad many years ago. I have no idea how much they are worth but they’re so important to our family. I hope that whoever has done this knows how much hurt has been caused.”

Anyone with any information are urged to contact police on 0161 872 5050.