THE father of a Leeds United superfan who died suddenly aged 26 says he is “angry beyond words” after thieves stole solar lights from his son’s grave.
Lifelong united fan Rory Embling’s last words were about his beloved club before his death last May.
His father Chris said two solar lights and a lantern were stolen when thieves struck at Doncaster Road Cemetery at Ackworth, near Pontefract, last week.
Chris Embling said: “I just can’t comprehend how somebody could steal from a grave.
“When you lose a son the grieving never goes away. We are 14-months on from Rory’s death and I have still got a hollow heart - I always will have.
“But this incident has just taken me right back to a very bad place. I am angry beyond words.
“For somebody to take something from a memorial to a dead person is just unbelievable.
“There are people out there who know they have done this and I hope by reading this they get one night’s worse sleep.
“Every grave has a story and every grave has relatives. I hope they now realise the effect and consequences of their crimes.”
Leeds Metropolitan University law geraduate Rory Embling, who worked as a paralegal for Heptonstall’s Solicitors in Pontefract, had been a Leeds United season ticket holder for almost 20 years.
Rory’s friend Martin Sixsmith, of Pontefract, was driving the pair to a WWE wrestling event at Nottingham Arena when Rory collapsed close to Woodall Services on the M1 near Sheffield.
He was taken to hospital in Chesterfield where he was pronounced dead on May 17 last year.
Mr Sixsmith told the YEP following the tragedy: “He was absolutely fine when we set off. He was the picture of health and had no history of illnesses. He was saying he was enjoying playing five-a-side football.
“We had been talking about the fact that we were disappointed Leeds player Michael Brown was not getting a new contract at the club and at that point, Rory collapsed.
“We were going to have a good day and do something we both enjoyed and he never came back.”
Coun Sarah Balfour, chairwoman of Ackworth Parish Council, which operates the Doncaster Road cemetery, said there have been five thefts reported to them and the police in the last week.
Coun Balfour added: “This issue is causing considerable distress to bereaved families and we are unable to comprehend who would do such a thing.
“We are keen to see the culprits are caught and brought to justice.”
Anyone with any information about the thefts, or who have also had memorials stolen should contact the Wakefield south east neighbourhood police team on 101.
Coun Balfour also asked people to report thefts to the parish council by calling 01977 611583.