Cricket sponsor left seeing the funny side of sign theft

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A Saddleworth cricket club was left blushing after it end up with an Old Bell End following a theft. And publican Phil Whiteman called for his letter S back, despite the giggles.

Phil Whiteman has called for his letter S back, despite the giggles

A sponsorship deal between the Old Bell Inn and neighbouring Delph and Dobcross Cricket Club saw one end christened the Old Bells End, without an apostrophe. But, all discussions recently turned to whether to add one ended after thieves entered the ground and took the letter, leaving the suggestive banner.

Phil, who runs the neighbouring pub which boasts a world record number of gin varieties, was left asking for the return of the S, despite seeing the funny side.

He said: "It's all light-hearted but I want my S back. I sponsor the whole ground and have sponsored the club for a number of years now. One, because they're local and you want to see a local cricket club survive."

"And this year, I looked at the ground and it needed a bit of modernisation. Professional grounds always have an end other than the Scoreboard End."

"So I thought, 'At the end is The Old Bell. It's only 100 yards away and it's at that end. I'll put a sign up saying The Old Bells End.'

"It made sense, but I knew it was inevitable it would cause a bit of fun. A lot of people on Facebook were saying, 'There should be an apostrophe.' Now the S has been stolen."

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