STAFF at Blackpool Football Club were left sickened when someone tried to steal a charity tin raising cash for stricken former youth coach Gary Parkinson.
They intervened when the culprit, believed to be a teenager, was spotted trying to cut free the collection box from the counter in the club shop.
The youngster managed to escape but staff were shocked by the incident, which happened between 1.30pm and 2pm while the shop was busy with fans ahead of Blackpool’s game against Watford.
Richard Wild, head of retail at Blackpool FC, said: “We are selling wristbands for Gary and the money goes straight into the tin so it can go straight to Gary’s family.
“We have had to tie the tin down, which sadly is a sign of the times, but on Saturday a youngster came in armed with a pair of scissor to cut it free.
“The shop was really busy at the time, but thankfully we spotted him just as he was about to finish cutting through and we managed to prevent him stealing the tin.
“But he ran off through the crowds outside.
“It’s sickening and very disappointing to think someone would try to steal from someone who has had such a misfortune as Gary.
”What is also terrible, is that it seems it was pre-planned because he had brought the scissors with him.”
The club began selling the tangerine 4Parky wristbands last month to raise money for 43-year-old Gary who is on the long road to recovery after suffering a stroke last year which left him with locked-in syndrome, a condition of almost total paralysis.
Staff at the shop are now studying CCTV images in a bid to identify the would-be thief, who is believed to have been a boy aged about 14.
The wristbands were the brainchild of Pool boss Ian Holloway and are available from the club shop priced £1.50.