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PS10,000 BLOW FOR TEAM OF BORO FANS.

Byline: ANDREW PAIN andrew.pain@eveninggazette.co.uk

A TABLE-TOPPING football team made up of Londonbased Boro fans have had up to PS10,000 worth of their personal belongings stolen.

The team, set up by members of Middlesbrough Supporters South (MSS), lost watches, jewellery, iPhones, house keys, wallets and their clothes when one of their cars was broken into.

The Boro fans were in the middle of beating their Blackburn Rovers counterparts 3-0 at the appropriately named Riverside Lands pitches in Chiswick, West London, when the theft happened between 2pm and 4pm on Sunday.

Team manager Dean Robson, a 33-year-old electrical engineer who moved to the capital from Billingham four years ago, said the car was used for storage for safety reasons.

"The lock on the door to the changing rooms wasn't the best so one of the lads said he was going to put his gear into the car," said Dean.

"After that a few others asked if they could put theirs in as well. All the belongings were put in the big kit bag and put in the car.

"Someone must have seen us do it then go out to play football."

When the victorious team returned to the car they found the windows of the BMW had been smashed and the bag taken.

Eight of the team had items stolen and the group had to share out PS20 between them to get single fairs on the tube to get home - still in their Boro strips and football boots.

"Absolutely everything has gone," said Dean. "When we've tried calculating it we might have racked up a bill of PS7,000-PS8,000 up to PS10,000 because of what was taken. It's horrendous, everyone is gutted."

The squad - number two of three Boro supporters teams playing in the Association of Provincial Football Supporters' Clubs in London league - are top of their second division, three points clear with six games left in the season and are in the quarter final of their cup competition.

MSS have more than 800 members and over 250 are planning to go to Belushi's bar in London Bridge to watch the televised match with Millwall tomorrow.

They are asking fellow southern-based supporters to throw the price of a drink into a bucket to try and help them recoup their losses.

"It's a fantastic community," said Dean. "It would just be nice to get something back for the lads."

Anyone in the Teesside area that would like to help in any way can email Dean at dean.robson1979@icloud.com.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed the matter was under investigation and said CCTV was being reviewed.

CAPTION(S):

SMASH AND GRAB: The team's car after it was broken into, left. Below is the team - back from left - Gary Stonehouse, John Forbes, Will Wyatt, Shaun Stewart, captain Jonathan Rhodes, Matt Horne, Chris Hill and Peter McGuinness - and front - manager Dean Robson, Charles Walford, Scott Perkins, Ollie Owolabi, Tim Colling, Ian McQueeney and Tom Roberts
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Feb 22, 2013
Words:496
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