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Dressing room theft's happy ending

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Theft of ex-Wales prop's testimonial jersey has a happy ending

Paul James’ public appeal to have his stolen testimonial jersey returned to him has been successful. 

Kit belonging to the former Wales international and fellow prop Paul Jones was stolen after it had been left at the Gnoll overnight following last Saturday’s fundraising match in Neath. 

However, the sorry saga had a happy ending on Tuesday evening as James took to social media to update his followers and announce that the taken items had been returned via special delivery to the stadium.

“To the person who had a brain fart on the weekend and took our kit, you done the right thing returning it,” he wrote, drawing a line under a theft that diluted the feel-good factor surrounding the testimonial match. 

A bumper attendance had been present at Neath’s famed Gnoll ground to watch a who’s who of Welsh greats including Shane Williams roll back the years and go through their paces. 

However, the prop who was the reason everyone was there in the first place was left with a sour taste in his mouth after it emerged that gear belonging to him and fellow prop Jones was stolen at some stage after their match against a Classic Lions XV.  

James, who was capped 66 times by Wales and retired last December from playing with the Ospreys, wrote on Facebook: “Disappointed that someone went into the Neath changing rooms this morning and went into Paul Jones’ bag and took his and mine match shirts.

“Only two jerseys made with No1 on the back. If anybody gets offered these please let us know. Cheers.”

Fellow front row Jones, the former Neath skipper, had earlier written on his Facebook account: “How low can someone go. Some twat has been in my bag in the changing at the Gnoll and taken my playing kit from yesterday. 

“Means a lot more to me than you. If you want to drop it off at Neath RFC clubhouse for me it will be much appreciated as I don’t think you can walk around with Assey’s testimonial shirt with the No1 on the back without being noticed. Drop the kit off and nothing will be said. Caught wearing it, suffer the consequences. Up to you.”

Jones added in a follow-up post, “Can’t believe some scum bag has done this. In Paul’s bag was my No1 jersey as well. So someone has stolen two jerseys both with No1 on them. Good luck to the person who has done this if we find out.”

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Theft of ex-Wales prop's testimonial jersey has a happy ending