Ex-Manchester United footballer's medal found at Shropshire school
- 29 June 2012
- From the section Shropshire
A supermarket worker who played in the same Manchester United team as Bobby Charlton and George Best has been reunited with a medal he lost more than 30 years ago.
Steve James, 62, was on the Red Devils' books from 1966-76 and was part of the team that won the old Division Two title in the 1974-75 season.
The medal was found in a cupboard at Buildwas Primary School, near Telford.
Mr James, who works for Waitrose, was reunited with the medal at the school.
He said he was "absolutely staggered".
"How it got from my parents home in Coseley to somewhere in Buildwas, Shropshire, I haven't a clue," he said.
"It's a mystery but hopefully through the publicity we've had, somebody may come forward and say how it came to be here."
Coseley is in the West Midlands, about 30 miles from Buildwas.
Mr James added: "As time's gone on I thought it was gone for good."
"You don't win things like this every day of your life and it's very important to me.
"It may be worth £1,500 on eBay but to me it's priceless."
School governor Nigel Bowen said he was given the gold medal following a clearout at the school in January.
He had it valued at £500 by a jeweller and then set about finding its rightful owner.
He said: "In the end, after some good old-fashioned research - the phone book - I tracked down Steve's father's house in Coseley and was then able to find Steve himself.
"Steve had not seen the medal for over 30 years. The mystery is we cannot work out how it ended up at the school."
Mr Bowen said he had been told by Mr James that the medal was probably stolen from his father's house in the 1980s along with some international caps he earned representing England at a junior level.
Mr James was a centre-back for Manchester United under manager Matt Busby and played alongside club legends including Charlton and Best, Denis Law and Nobby Stiles.
He made his debut as an 18-year-old in a 2-0 defeat away to Liverpool in October 1968 when United were European champions and played his final game for the Old Trafford club in May 1975 on the last day of the season in which promotion earned him the medal.
He went on to play for York City and Kidderminster Harriers.