A MEDAL which once belonged to a legendary Owls player who notched up 26 England caps during his career has been stolen in a raid by cruel thieves.
The nine carat gold medal was presented 90 years ago to left-back Ernest Blenkinsop, one of the most popular players in Sheffield Wednesday’s history.
The medal is now owned by Ernest’s granddaughter Debbie Knight, and was taken from her house on Morland Close, Gleadless.
Debbie, aged 47, said she has been left ‘devastated’ by the theft of the medal, which was given to the footballer in 1920 while he was a player for the Cudworth Village team.
“It’s the very first medal he got,” she said.
“He was only 19 when he won it. It wasn’t his most prestigious medal, but it probably was the one he treasured the most.”
The burglars broke down her front door at around 10am last Wednesday.
Debbie, a credit controller for a law firm, was at work, while her partner Keith Mawhood, 46, was running an errand.
“The door was completely ripped off, it was really upsetting,” she said.
Debbie said the burglars made off with a large haul of jewellery from the upstairs bedrooms, including watches and chains, as well as Keith’s car keys.
The medal was kept in a bedside table.
It has a gold and enamel shield on the front, and is engraved on the back.
“You can’t replace it,” Debbie said.
Police believe that the thieves might try to sell the medal – but Debbie said the culprits will have to be ‘very careful’ where they take the stolen item.
“I wonder if it’s been melted down,” she said.
Her house was previously burgled in February, Debbie added.
Cudworth-born Ernest once held the record as the most capped Sheffield Wednesday outfield player.
He ran The Sportsman pub in Crosspool during his retirement, and died in 1969 at the age of 67.
Anyone with information can call police on 101, quoting incident number 375 of October 31.