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Graveside statue in memory of champion boxer vandalised in Cwmbran cemetery

three photos of a statue of a boxer
Photos show the damage to the nose of the statue of Shane Thomas (Photos: Joe Thomas)

A granite statue to remember a 22-year-old champion boxer has been vandalised at his grave in a Cwmbran cemetery.

Shane Thomas, from Pontypool, was killed in a car crash in the town on 5 August 2019. His funeral was held on 5 September 2019. Following a service at Pontymoile Undenominational Christian Mission Church, the funeral cortege stopped at his boxing gym in Cwmbran, Torfaen Warriors, before he was buried at Llwyncelyn Cemetery. The procession included dozens of vehicles covered in flowers and photos of the former boxer. His family fitted a granite statue of him on his grave but are devastated after finding it had been vandalised last week.

a statue of a boxer on a grave
The statue of Shane Thomas at his grave before it was vandalised (Photo: Joe Thomas)

Joe Thomas, Shane’s dad, told Cwmbran Life he visited the grave on Wednesday 18 October: “To be honest I was gutted. I went up to my boy’s grave. I go up almost every day. I thought because it’s a statue, it was bird mess. I went up and it was such a shock. Someone has smacked his nose off his statue. I looked around and couldn’t find it.”

He said the family regularly visits the grave to keep it “neat and tidy”. “I want my son’s grave to look respectable,” he added.

“It’s been heartbreaking. I’m absolutely gutted. It hits you where it hurts. It must have happened between Monday evening and Wednesday. We reported to the police.” Mr Thomas said the area is used by dog walkers and hopes someone may have seen something. He contacted the cemetery office as there is CCTV on the building. Council staff contacted Gwent Police to ask an officer to view the footage

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A spokesperson for Gwent Police said: “We received a report of criminal damage after a statue located at a burial site at the Llwyncelyn cemetery in Cwmbran was damaged by an unknown person at some point between 9am on Monday 16 October and 2.46pm on Wednesday 18 October. Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call 101 or send us a direct message on social media, quoting log reference 2300354601.”

During his amateur career of over 30 fights,  Shane won five Welsh titles, one British title, three gold medals at the Boxcup in Finland, and boxed for Wales in the European Championships.

WATCH Shane’s funeral procession visit his boxing gym in Cwmbran

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Graveside statue in memory of champion boxer vandalised in Cwmbran cemetery