Monday 5 December 2016

Signed Manchester United jersey and ball stolen from football mad teen fighting brain tumour

Published 15/05/2015 | 15:59

Heartless thieves stole a signed Manchester United jersey and ball from a teenager fighting a brain tumour as they ransacked his parents’ home.

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Avid football fan Jamie King was devastated when his sporting memorabilia, iPad, iPhone, Beats speakers and ear phones and even his piggy bank were taken while his parents, Claudine and Barry, were at work yesterday afternoon.

Mrs King said her 13-year-old son got the special gifts while he battled a brain tumour, which included spending Christmas in Germany as he underwent proton beam radiation.

“Jamie is a die-hard football fan and a die hard Man Utd fan. His went to Old Trafford with his dad before he was diagnosed,” she said.

“After everything he has gone through his life has been turned upside down once again because there are so many things taken from him.

“He was devastated when we told him.”

Jamie King (13) pictured before he was diagnosed with a brain tumour in June 2014
Jamie King (13) pictured before he was diagnosed with a brain tumour in June 2014

Mrs King spoke to Joe Duffy on RTE’s Liveline to appeal for the return of a Manchester Utd shirt signed by the 2013 team, and a ball signed by the 2010 team.

While Mrs King was on air, one generous listener called in and offered Jamie another signed Man Utd jersey which he won at a golf classic.

“It restores your faith in humanity when just some average person, who has never met or heard of you in their lives, has such a huge heart to ring in,” she later said.

“It’s such a nice overwhelming feeling.”

Mrs King said it was a shock to the family that everything belonging to Jamie, who was diagnosed in June 2014 after suffering from severe migraines, was taken in the burglary.

Despite his gruelling treatment, Jamie still has about 20pc of the tumour as it can’t be removed fully because of where is it on the brain.

He will have to have a scan every three to six months and ongoing treatment for life.

“After the horrendous year he had and we’ve had, to come home to this, everything that means anything to him is now gone,” she continued.

“We’re just trying to put the word out there that if anybody comes across any of these items that they know who to contact. Any help is appreciated.”

All of Mrs King’s jewellery, including her mother’s engagement ring and jewellery, a new high-spec silver laptop and her husband’s Rolex watch were also taken by thieves, who drilled through the back door before thrashing the house as they searched for money and other goods.

Manchester United shirt, signed by 2013 team, which belonged to Jamie King (13) who is fighting a brain tumour
Manchester United shirt, signed by 2013 team, which belonged to Jamie King (13) who is fighting a brain tumour
The Rolex watch taken during the burglary of Jamie King's home

A bottle of aftershave was thrown at a large fish tank to try and smash it, but it landed in the tank instead, she said.

She could not rule out if the house was targeted by someone who knew Jamie was seriously unwell and had the items of value, but she hoped that whoever raided the property had no idea what Jamie has gone through.

“Everything is very important to him right now,” she continued.

“Anything that means anything to him is gone now, so it’s imperative they make a decision and have a heart and return it, whether it’s left somewhere or whatever.

“Try and leave it somewhere for us to pick it up.”

Mrs King said gardai told her there were three break-ins in the area yesterday afternoon and she believed it was professionally carried out.

“My son was home the day before because he wasn’t feeling well, so thank God he was not here when somebody arrived,” she said.

Separately, another woman who had a car and van stolen from her driveway complained that gardai can not track stolen vehicles as they travel through toll booths.

Meave, from Celbridge, told the radio show there is a total lack of communication between the firm and the gardai because of data protection legislation.

The vehicles, a 10-KE registered Volkswagen Passat and a white 12 D Volkswagen transporter van, passed through toll booths on the M7 after they were taken from the family home.

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