POLICE are hunting burglars who stole thousands of pounds worth of sporting memorabilia including signed football shirts worn by David Beckham, Lionel Messi and Wayne Rooney.

A boxing belt which belonged to former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield was also nicked along with a signed British and Irish Lions rugby shirt.

Crooks broke into the office of sports fan Andy Powell, who runs a truck firm in Burcott Road in Hereford, overnight between Thursday (1/4) and early Friday (2/4).

He believes the thieves came across his treasure trove of sporting memorabilia "by chance" while ransacking the business premises.

They ripped mounted pictures of sports shirts off the walls as well as stealing industrial equipment and even a watering can.


Mr Powell said: "We think they just by chance they came into my office.

“I'm a huge sporting fan and I've spent 25 years collecting all the memorabilia.

“I've brought a lot of it at charity auctions when stuff came up on offer so I brought it because it was for charity.

“It was all properly secured to the walls and made my office look interesting when customers came in.

“But the one thing is I was always keen on was boxing and I had the chance to go and meet Evander Holyfield and he lost all of his money and he was doing an auction and I ended up buying one of his world championship belts.

“That has really choked me and it also cost me a few bob too and the thieving sods have taken that too.

“The memorabilia stuff cost me around £20,000 but that was over a long time.

“The workshop stuff and diagnostics alone is a lot of money but I can buy new computers or an air gun.

“But they even took our watering can - how sad are these people?

“It doesn’t make any sense at all.

“They made a lot of mess and went through everything.

“Every time I sit in my office now I’m going to be looking at bare walls and I don’t like that.

“But I won’t be able to buy that stuff back ever again.”


PC Phil Harvey, of West Mercia Police, said: “A number of sporting memorabilia items were taken during this burglary and it is likely the thieves will look to sell them on.

“We would ask any retailers or shoppers seeing items on online auction sites to check before accepting any items that match those that were taken in this incident.

“We’re keen to speak to anyone who may have witnessed anything suspicious, or who has any CCTV from the area.”

The autographed items stolen were:

  • An All Blacks rugby shirt.
  • A 2013 British Lions rugby shirt.
  • An Aston Villa football shirt.
  • Lionel Messi Barcelona football shirt.
  • David Beckham’s England football shirt.
  • Wayne Rooney’s red Manchester United shirt.
  • Boxing belt belonging to Evander Holyfield.
  • Boxing glove signed by Roberto Duran.
  • Boxing glove signed by Joe Calzaghe and Roy Jones Junior
  • Signed Spanish international team World Cup shirt.
  • Signed picture of Wayne Rooney and Christiano Ronaldo.