‘It’s really nice to know people cared that much’ - kind Norwich City fans help reunite Ronnie, 10, with his signed football shirt
08:31 27 March 2014
copyright: Archant 2014
Little Ronnie Oliver is a picture of happiness, after Norwich City fans reunited him with his lost signed football shirt.
The 10-year-old, of Horsford, had spent months collecting signatures from most of the Canaries squad when he realised the shirt was missing after Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Sunderland.
He believes it fell out of his pocket when he was leaving the ground.
His mum Rachel Oliver, 40, put out an internet appeal which was re-tweeted by Jake Humphrey on Twitter and got more than 1,800 shares on Facebook.
And after the story appeared on this newspaper’s website, police got in touch to say a fan had found the shirt - and it was waiting in lost property at Bethel Street police station.
His mum went to fetch it on Tuesday morning, and when Ronnie got home from Horsford Middle School he could not contain his delight and wanted to thank everyone who helped.
“I told him before I collected it that they might have found it as he had been so down about it,” said Miss Oliver, of The Shrublands, Horsford. “He was really thrilled and glad to have it back as the season is drawing to an end and he wants to get the rest of the signatures.”
Ronnie takes it in turn with his little brother Jimmy, aged seven, to go to Norwich matches with his grandad Andy Syer, of Hellesdon, who is a season ticket holder in the Jarrold Stand.
He shouts to players to get their signatures whenever he gets a chance, and has been spotted on Tunnel Cam before.
And his mum said he was distraught when the shirt went missing.
“His grandad brought him home after the football match and his little face - I thought ‘whatever has happened’,” she explained. “He said he had lost his shirt, they retraced his steps but couldn’t find it.
“He was heartbroken. I thought to myself I would give Facebook a try, and didn’t expect the response.”
They believe the green 2012-13 away shirt fell out of his pocket after the match at Carrow Road.
Miss Oliver added the shirt meant a lot to Ronnie as he had spoken to the players to get the signatures himself.
And after the scare, the schoolboy - who is the goalkeeper in the league-winning Taverham under-11s side - is keen to complete his collection of signatures.
“I’m almost reluctant to let him take it again but he’s determined,” said Miss Oliver. “I think the Norwich squad will be hearing him shout even louder now!”
Ronnie, who lives with his family including mum Rachel, dad Andrew Mills, 41, brother Jimmy and sister Dolly, five, has been full of beans since he got his shirt back.
And his mum has hailed everyone who helped, adding: “It’s really nice to know people cared that much.”
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