‘Priceless’ gold medal snatched in birthday raid

Jim and Margaret
Jim and Margaret
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A COUPLE returned from a 70th birthday getaway to find their home had been ransacked and valuables including a treasured gold Scottish Challenge Cup winner’s medal had been stolen.

Jim Reilly took a “rare” one-night trip away with wife Margaret to celebrate his landmark birthday, but they returned home to Musselburgh to find the medal he won in 1961, thousands of pounds of jewellery and a laptop had been taken.

Jim with the cup

Jim with the cup

Now the couple are appealing for the return of all of their belongings, including the precious football memento.

The thieves left behind an identical medal in silver, above, which Mr Reilly hopes will help people recognise the stolen pendant.

The gold medal, which was on a gold chain, was awarded to Mr Reilly when he played for Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic A under-21s aged just 18.

The team won the Scottish Challenge Cup against Balloch FC at Easter Road in 1961. The following year, they won the Lady Darling Cup, earning Mr Reilly the identical silver medal.

Mr Reilly said that the gold medal was only worth “£100” but its sentimental value was “priceless”.

He said: “The medal wasn’t worth lots of money, probably around £100, but you can’t put a value on it. We [the team] only just met up last June for a reunion to mark 50 years since we won the cup and we’ve all kept our medals.

“I didn’t play football professionally, but that was the best time of my life. I’d love to get the medal back.”

The couple returned to their home in Stoneyhill Drive at around 2pm on Sunday to find that a side window in the living room had been wrenched open.

A laptop had been taken, along with gold necklaces, earrings and several items of Swarovski crystal.

Mr Reilly, who worked as an insurance salesman before joining BlindCraft in 1997, said: “They stole Margaret’s swimming bag to take the things away and my briefcase to take away the laptop.

“Police said they would keep an eye on pawn shops and other places it could be sold.”

He added: “There have been a few burglaries around here recently. We do feel uneasy, it is a worry.”

The medal had an inscription on the back which read “Scottish Challenge Cup Winners 1960/61 Jim Reilly”.

A police spokesman appealed for anybody who witnessed the break-in, which is believed to have occurred between 11am on Saturday and 2pm on Sunday, to come forward.