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Hillsborough Ride For The 96 bikes stolen at Anfield

image copyrightRide For The 96
image captionSteve Rotheram MP (centre) said the group had been "overwhelmed" by the kindness of local people

Six Irishmen visiting Merseyside for a charity cycle ride in memory of the Hillsborough victims have had their bikes stolen outside Anfield.

Merseyside Police said five bikes were stolen from a van parked near the ground while the group were on a tour of Liverpool FC's stadium on Saturday.

The group had been planning to take part in the Ride For The 96 starting at the Sutton Leisure Centre in St Helens.

Liam Mulcahy, 34, one of the six, said they were "shocked" at the theft.

Liverpool fan Mr Mulcahy said the group of friends, from Limerick, were disappointed not to take part in the ride.

'Few scumbags'

"We were offered bikes but we couldn't face it," he said.

"I have been to the city several times and you cannot judge it by one bad experience - a lot of people have been very helpful."

Liverpool Walton MP Steve Rotheram, who was among the crowd cheering on riders, said he had met the group of fans there.

image copyrightGoogle
image captionThe bikes were stolen outside Liverpool FC's ground

He said: "They recognise it was the act of a few scumbags, who give our city a bad name, whilst being overwhelmed by the generosity and acts of kindness from the local community, who have rallied to support them."

The group's luggage was also stolen, along with a number of T-shirts with the charity's name, their passports, the van's satnav and some cash.

Ch Insp Chris Hitchell said: "This is an absolutely terrible thing to happen to anyone visiting our city but it is made worse by the fact that this group are here to raise money for charity and a cause which is dear to so many Liverpudlians' hearts."

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