Soldier snatched from club

Cheryl Garner, chef at The Officers Club, with the remaining sentry soldier statue after the other one was stolen

Cheryl Garner, chef at The Officers Club, with the remaining sentry soldier statue after the other one was stolen

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A NATIONWIDE search has been launched for a life-sized toy soldier which went AWOL with thieves who smuggled it on to a train.

The 6ft tall figure was last seen on a Liverpool-bound service after thieves walked through the town with it on their shoulders.

The statue is one of a pair which famously stand sentry outside The Officers’ Club, in Barracks Square, Wigan. A man and a woman are suspected of the theft at around 6.20pm on Saturday.

Owner Peter Hughes today appealed for help in tracking it down.

He said: “I don’t know how they got away with it. They must have walked down Wallgate with it without anyone questioning them. They then went into North Western station and got on a train to Liverpool with it.

“I suppose it is their idea of a joke but these were £200 apiece and they are part of our identity. People have their pictures taken with them. It could be anywhere now.”

Town centre CCTV is being checked for sightings. A Wigan Police spokeswoman confirmed that the theft had been reported to them and it had involved a man and a woman.

She appealed for anyone with information to ring 0161 872 5050.