'Lock them up with a Town fan': Support for victim of FA Cup medal burglary pours in
PUBLISHED: 05:30 22 January 2019 | UPDATED: 11:19 22 January 2019
A community has rallied around an Ipswich Town FA Cup winner after his prized medal was stolen in a burglary.
Blues’ Hall of Fame player Mick Lambert told this paper he “feels empty” after discovering his medal was missing after returning from an overnight trip to find a car, jewellery, cash and flat-screen TV were gone.
Burglars had kicked the back door in, snatched whatever valuables they could find and stuffed them in a pillowcase before making off with their haul.
Town supporters have now shared their wishes to see justice done and the medal returned to its rightful owner.
One fan said: “Gutted for Mick. I’ve actually been to his house and had a look at his medal.
“The public need to pull together to stop anyone trying to sell this on. Fingers crossed he gets this back and the culprit is caught and locked up with an angry Town fan.”
One observer on Twitter said: “It was probably a Norwich fan just wondering what one looked like.”
Mr Lambert is one of just 12 Town players to receive a FA Cup winners medal.
He came on as a substitute on for Roger Osborne in the 1978 FA Cup Final 1-0 win against Arsenal at Wembley, when Osborne famously fainted after scoring in the 77th minute and had to be replaced.
Nigel Smith, commenting on Facebook, understood that the loss of a car or TV was second to the sentimental items that were gone: “I sympathise because I was broken into a couple of years ago.
“It’s not the material loss, it’s the personal and sentimental items or electronic pictures that are irreplaceable. I hope they catch them soon.”
Mr Lambert, 68, and his wife Margaret, 65, had left their home in Sandringham Close, Ipswich, on Thursday to see the World Bowls Championships at Potters Resort at Hopton, on the Norfolk coast.
Although thousands of pounds of items were stolen, nothing was more valuable to Mr Lambert than his precious 1978 FA Cup winner’s medal, engraved with his name.
“I just feel empty, but I suppose that burglars aren’t considering how other people feel when they steal from them,” said Mr Lambert.
“Our neighbour was out on the street at 6pm on Friday evening. We got back at 7.45pm on Friday night, so whoever did this must have been in and out very quickly.
“We knew we were in trouble the moment we got back because the car was missing from the drive.
“If we were off on holiday we would have hidden some things but it was only an overnight stay - they didn’t have to beat the place up to find everything.
“My wife is more upset about the car, I’m more upset about the medals.
“We were meant to be going on a holiday to the Caribbean. It was planned and booked, but without our passports we don’t know if we can go.”
A police spokesman said: “Between 6pm and 7.45pm on Friday, January 19, the suspects have gained entry to property by smashing bottom half of back door.
“The keys to a white Ford Fiesta were taken and the car stolen as well as a TV and jewellery among other items, including an FA Cup medal.”
As a player, Mr Lambert appeared in more than 200 games for Ipswich Town between 1968 and 1979 under the management of Sir Bobby Robson, alongside greats such as Kevin Beattie, Clive Woods and Mick Mills.
Mr Lambert had subsequent spells at Canadian club Vancouver Whitecaps, Peterborough United and Chelmsford City.
Anyone who witnessed the incident or saw any suspicious behaviour or has knowledge of the incident should contact Ipswich CID, quoting crime reference 37/3589/19.
Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their anonymous online form at crimestoppers-uk.org