Staff at a Doncaster butchers were stunned after two treasured trophies dating back to the 1930s were stolen.
Workers at Wilkinson Butchers, based on Market Place in the town centre, say the trophies – that they have won on numerous occasions since 1954 – were part of the firm’s proud heritage.
Now a loyal customer and friend of the business is offering a £400 reward for the safe return of the trophies.
Staff made the discovery on Friday.
Trevor Wilkinson, who runs the firm that has been in the family since 1954, said: “It’s shocking and upsetting – we couldn’t believe it when we realised they’d been taken.
“The trophies are a proud part of our heritage and the heritage of Doncaster Market. They are part of our family history.
“The trophies aren’t valuable in terms of money, but to us they’re priceless.”
The offenders are thought to have forced their way in through the shutters and taken the trophies.
An appeal posted on the butcher’s Facebook page has been shared more than 250 times by outraged customers.
The family-run firm posted: “It’s with a heavy heart I have to post this.
“It’ll probably come to nothing, but if anyone knows of the location of these very old trophies please get in touch.
“They’ve been stolen from our shop in Doncaster. One is dated 1930s.
“They’ve not only been stolen from us, but from the farming and butchering community as they are passed around winners.
“It’s a sad day, sorry to post this.”
And hundreds of customers have taken to Facebook to express their disgust at the theft.
Sandra Chapman posted: “Makes me sick to think there are so many thieving scumbags out there who have no sense of value for other people’s property, monetary or sentimental .
“I hope they get returned Trevor.”
Speaking about the support from customers, Mr Wilkinson said: “We really didn’t expect this kind of response.
“It’s unbelievable really that so many people want to help us get the trophies back.”
A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said enquiries into the offence, which is believed to have taken place on Thursday between noon and 5pm, are ongoing.
* Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call police on 101.