South West Wales

'Irreplaceable' rugby shirts stolen from Maesteg Rugby Club

Fire at Maesteg rugby club
Image caption In August a fire destroyed memorabilia at Maesteg RFC

Thieves have taken a haul of "irreplaceable" rugby shirts from a rugby club which has been hit by a spate of break-ins.

A number nine jersey donated to Maesteg Rugby Club, near Bridgend, by former international Rob Howley was among the stolen memorabilia.

The thieves also stole a rugby league shirt worn by veteran Kevin Ellis.

South Wales Police are investigating the break-ins and officers have not ruled out a link between the three.

The burglaries are the latest misfortune to hit the club.

Memorabilia was destroyed in an arson attack on the main clubhouse in August shortly after it had been refurbished.

The clubhouse's first-floor members' lounge was partially destroyed and other areas of the building suffered smoke and water damage.

The property's electrical system was badly damaged, as was its cellar and steelwork on the stadium's stand.

The main clubhouse building was targeted on Saturday and Sunday when a quantity of alcohol and confectionery was stolen.

In the third burglary, thieves forced their way into the building some time between Monday afternoon and early Tuesday morning and took the rugby shirts.

"The Rob Howley shirt in particular would hold a reasonable value for the thieves," said PC Viv Price.

"The shirts are irreplaceable and mean a great deal to the club and its members.

"I am appealing to anyone who may be offered any of these jerseys for sale or has any relevant information to come forward."

Anyone with any information is asked to call 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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