Goodmayes Paralympian has medal stolen by burglars

A Paralympic silver-medalist with learning disabilities has had his medal stolen while he attended his grandmother’s funeral.

David Evans, 53, was runner-up in the mens’ singles table tennis at the 1992 Paralympic Games in Barcelona, earning a silver medal for his efforts.

But when he returned to his home in Ashburton Avenue, Goodmayes, on Sunday with his mother Sheila, 78, from her mother’s funeral, they found burglars had smashed through the back door, ransacked the house and stolen the medal.

Mrs Evans, who received a phone call from a neighbour while taking care of her late mother Edna Ball’s possessions in Dorchester, Dorset, said it was “awful”.

“Words just fail me,” she told the Recorder. “It was bad that we had been burgled, but when we looked through everything and realised the medal wasn’t there we were shocked.

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“David lives for the sport, but what makes me really sad is that they will probably either melt it down or throw it away.”

Mr Evans, who has learning disabilities, said although some medals and trophies from other tournaments were left untouched, he was devastated by the loss of his Paralympic medal so close to the 2012 Games.

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He said “I am very sad. The people that did this are terrible.

“I was thrilled to bits when I won the medal. But now I am sad.”

The table tennis player, who still plays competitively in local leagues, has applied to be an ambassador to next year’s London 2012 Games, where he was hoping to show people his medal and talk about his own achievements. Mrs Evans said the theft added to the pain of the burglary.

She added: “It’s not just what they’ve taken but the mess they’ve left. We’re just ordinary people.

“I don’t want to let it beat me because we want to go to Cyprus to visit my sister. I still want to do that.”

Any one with information is urged to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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