After the great Scottish referendum debate inspired by Birflatt Boy and drawing in a couple of thousand new readers, the next item for posting needed to be a golden. Here is it …
An unusual request suddenly popped up at the Facebook group of Salut! Sunderland.
Back in February 2012, Clare Owen found the wedding ring you see above outside the Stadium of Light after SAFC thumped Norwich City 3-0 to roar to an unlikely eighth top under Martin O’Neill.
Not the easiest of things to lose, you may feel, unless it was very loose fitting in the first place or the wearer’s finger had suddenly lost a lot of weight. But lost it was.
“I need a big favour from my Facebook friends.” Clare writes.
“I have tried everything I can think of to reunite this wedding ring. It is engraved with AJ à SC and a date. Next year it will be their 25th wedding anniversary!!! I would love to get it back to them before then.”
Clare says the à is not the only reason for supposing the ring’s origins could be French. The font and other markings suggest likewise, she says, begging her social media contacts to share news of her quest far and wide and help her trace the owner in time for that silver anniversary.
[When Monsieur Salut reached his own 25th year of marriage, the date fell during a week’s holiday in Marrakech and he lovingly booked a fabulous dinner at the plush La Mamounia, telephoning ahead to explain in French and English what occasion it was intended to celebrate. Towards the end of the meal, the waiters and kitchen staff formed an orderly procession to bring the cake to our table. They did so to the accompaniment of Happy Birthday and took turns to wish my wife many happy returns of her 25th. I was evidently seen as her sugar daddy.]
Back to Clare’s noble search. Here’s a bit more detail and a link to the lost-and-found service she was prompted to launch:
Lostbox was set up after I found an engraved gold wedding ring at Sunderland’s football ground the Stadium of Light. It was found on the 1st February 2012, after the Sunderland v Norwich match.
A detective has researched the ring and has come up with some exciting new information!
The big news is after speaking to jewellers: they believe the ring to be French for a number of reasons. These include the initials which are AJ á SC, the font used and the type of gold the ring is made from. (The ring has been tested and is 18ct gold). Any piece of gold jewellery which weighs more than one gram requires a hallmark if in the UK. The ring weighs 2.4 grams and has no hallmark which again suggests it did not originate in the UK.
Due to the size of the ring we believe it is a man’s band. It is tradition in France to have the initials of your wife first which in this instance would be AJ, meaning the man’s initial would be SC.
The ring was found in the players’ car park which situated at the front of the Stadium. The detective therefore believes it is more probably for the ring to belong to a player’s family member/friend or someone with links to SAFC. (We are not ruling out that it could belong to a football fan.)
I have found two players who were at Sunderland in the 2011-2012 season which spoke French, they are Stéphane Sességnon and Oumare Tounkara. (Please let me know if I have missed anyone.)
Do you know anyone who has visited the stadium or has links to SAFC that it could belong to?
There is also a date in the ring is from 1990!! We would love YOUR help to get the ring back to it’s owner.
Thank you Clare x
The jeweller’s advice about French tradition rang a bell with me, given my Anglo-French marriage. I just checked my own ring and there are no markings. I also had a quick look at the SAFC and Norwich line-ups for the game in question and no one among starting 11s or substitutes fits the bill.
Tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any information and it will be passed directly to Clare.
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