Banner ‘theft’ mystery solved

Steve Simms of Blackpool Rangers Junior Football Club and (below) the banner believed to have been stolen has been found.
Steve Simms of Blackpool Rangers Junior Football Club and (below) the banner believed to have been stolen has been found.
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The mystery of a junior football club banner believed to have been stolen from outside a school has been solved – after it emerged a caretaker had taken it down for the school holidays!

The caretaker of Norbreck Primary Academy only realised what had happened after reading The Gazette’s story last week appealing for help to track down Blackpool Junior Football Club’s notice, which was erected in an attempt to attract youngsters to the club.

The banner believed to have been stolen has been found.

The banner believed to have been stolen has been found.

Steve Simms, chairman of the Bispham club, had described the alleged theft as “soul destroying” after £100 of the club’s budget was put towards purchasing the banner.

However, Mr Simms, 43, today said he was relieved to find it was all a major misunderstanding.

He said: “I got a phone call from the school to say the caretaker had taken the banner down because of the bad weather and he didn’t tell anyone until he read the story.

“I’m gobsmacked this has happened but it’s a great relief it has turned up.”

Karen McCarter, headteacher of the Norbreck Road school, said: “It wasn’t taken down in a malicious way, it was quite the opposite.

“It was taken down because he was worried about it and it had partially blown off and was ripping.

“We have only acted out of good faith and taken it in for safe keeping.”

The club put the banner in place to attract more youngsters following the refurbishment of their clubhouse, on All Saints Road.

Meanwhile, boys and girls aged between four and nine-years-old are being encouraged contact the club if they are interested in playing.

Call 07563021555 for more information.

Community responded to banner ‘theft’

Blackpool Rangers Junior Football Club play their games at Gala Field, on All Saints Road, Bispham, and cater for scores of youngsters in a number of teams, ranging from under-7s to under-16s.

The supposed theft of the banner had caused outrage in the community and people had come forward and offered to purchase a replacement.

Mark Williams, from Blackpool Sixth Form’s marketing team, used to play for the club and was eager to help provide a replacement for his old team when he found out what had happened.

He said: “We’ve done some banners for the college before and I know someone who prints them.

“I know they don’t have much money so I thought I’d try and help them.”

Click here to read how The Gazette reported the story: WHY STEAL OUR BANNER?

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