Dad’s Olympics ring traced to pawnbroker after theft

Bill Law was given the much-loved ring after managing the UK diving team at the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992

Bill Law was given the much-loved ring after managing the UK diving team at the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992

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THE daughter of a former British diving coach today described her relief after his Olympic team ring, which was stolen at Hogmanay, turned up at a city pawnbrokers.

Suzanne Ireland was left devastated after the “precious” family heirloom belonging to her father Bill Law, who died two years ago, vanished.

Bill Law

Bill Law

The 43-year-old visited pawnbrokers across the Capital after the ring, which was presented to Mr Law after he managed the UK diving teams at the 1992 Barcelona Games, disappeared.

Mrs Ireland was reunited with the ring yesterday after staff at the Cash Generators shop in Great Junction Street in Leith reported that an item matching the description had been sold to them. Mrs Ireland, who helped her father run the Edinburgh Diving Club for many years, said the loss had made her “inconsolable”.

She had been celebrating Hogmanay at the Ellwyn Hotel in Moira Terrace, Craigentinny, with husband, Duncan, 48, the secretary at Duddingston Golf Club, when the ring was taken.

Mrs Ireland, who lives in Craigentinny Avenue, said: “I had it on while I was out on Hogmanay. I last saw it when I went to the toilet at around 11.45pm and took it off to wash my hands. It was just after the bells when I realised it was missing. It wasn’t where I put it.

“I was very upset but the hotel staff were great. They looked everywhere. I phoned the police in tears on New Year’s Day after not sleeping a wink that night.

“I went to all the pawnbrokers in the area to ask if they had been offered it.

“My dad died in December 2009. The ring was probably his most precious possession from his diving career. My mum gave me it on Christmas morning a week after he died.”

Mr Law battled prostate cancer for nine years before the disease finally spread and took his life aged 75.

In 1955, Mr Law made the diving finals of the British Championships and three years later he was selected for the Scottish team for the Commonwealth Games team in Cardiff. After retiring from competitive diving in 1962, he became president of the Warrender and Edinburgh diving clubs and, until his death, was honorary president of both.

He was director of diving events at the 1970 and 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh before becoming team manager at the 1992 Olympics.

Mrs Ireland, an operations manager with a business service firm, said: “I never gave up hope, but I’m overwhelmed that it was found.” Lothian and Borders Police’s search and recovery team contacted pawnbrokers and second-hand stores across Edinburgh. They are following a “positive line of enquiry” to identify the person responsible for taking the ring.

Chief Inspector Matt Richards said: “The co-operation of responsible retailers has proven vital in returning a missing item to its rightful owner and providing information to help trace the suspect.”