Stolen sword is returned

PLEASED: Manager Richard Ellis with the sword
PLEASED: Manager Richard Ellis with the sword
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An irreplaceable ornamental sword stolen from a rugby club six months ago was discovered in a police raid - at a house a few hundred metres away.

There are only 200 such swords in the world and they were awarded to a select few sports clubs and charities in the 1970s.

Preston Grasshoppers was lucky enough to bid for the sword nearly 40 years ago and it was on display in a toughened glass cabinet until March this. On March 13, between 3.30am and 3.35am a burglar broke in through a fire door and stole the 3ft silver sword, which is valued at £5,000.

Several appeals were published in the press, and it is understood an eagle eyed LEP reader made an anonymous call to police.

Detective Inspector Warren Atkinson, of Preston Police said: “We received a call and a house on Lightfoot Lane was raided on Monday.

“We believe the person may have stolen it believing it to be silver that could be smelted - however it is steel.

“The value is due to its age and rarity not its metal content. Obviously a sword like this is hard to sell on without suspicion.

“The call came in as a result of an LEP appeal.

He added: “A man is 
voluntarily attending the 
police station for questioning tomorrow.”

Richard Ellis, who works at the club, said: “ We are eager to return it to its rightful place as soon as possible and are delighted it has been found.”