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Widow's disgust as seat is vandalised

PUBLISHED: 11:03 16 February 2009 | UPDATED: 21:26 07 July 2010

The widow of a devoted football coach has described her “disgust” after a bench made in his memory was damaged by vandals.

Gary Bond - who was also a police inspector - inspired a succession of young sports enthusiasts in Thetford and the town's Magpies club was given its names after his beloved Newcastle United.

THE widow of a devoted football coach has described her "disgust" after a bench made in his memory was damaged by vandals.

Gary Bond - who was also a police inspector - inspired a succession of young sports enthusiasts in Thetford, and the town's Magpies club was given its names after his beloved Newcastle United.

Mr Bond, 37, died from the injuries he suffered in a crash in Thetford in January 2005.

The bench was installed on Nuns Bridges Green - which was known locally as Gary's Green as that is where he met the youngsters for training - in his memory a year after he died.

But now his family has discovered that the bench has been vandalised, with one of the panels pulled off which has a plaque with Gary's name on it.

"I am so disgusted," said his wife Eileen. "There are a lot of very unhappy people in Thetford that this has happened. He was a very popular and well-liked man and this is an act of sheer vandalism.

"It is so unfair. My kids were devastated and I am sorry for them and for the people who went to the trouble of organising for it to be put there." A tearful Mrs Bond added: "Football was his life. He was a great man and was so loving."

Ralph Hedley was headteacher at Queensway Junior School in Thetford at the time Mr Bond died and was involved in getting the bench installed.

He said: "We will do everything we can to put it back in the condition it was in."

Gordon Russell, manager of Thetford Magpies, said: "I was pretty disgusted when I heard what had happened, considering what Gary had done for Thetford and football and local schools

The bench was vandalised around January 31 and anyone with information should contact Thetford Police on 0845 456 4567.


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