Sunderland commentator Nick Barnes thanks the Good Samaritan who saved his unique matchbook after it was stolen from his car

Nick Barnes has been reunited with his unique matchbook
Nick Barnes has been reunited with his unique matchbook

Sunderland radio commentator Nick Barnes has thanked the Guardian Angel who saved his beloved matchbook.

The BBC Radio Newcastle stalwart produces a written report for every match, complete with a hand-drawn rendition of the opposing club's badge and strip, which he then colour codes during the game.

Nick's unique record of the season has became so well known that his account of the 2016/16 season was professionally reproduced.

He put a message on his Facebook page today, revealing the irreplaceable book had been stolen from his car overnight: "A HUGE Thank you to John Groves at Bristol Street Motors in Sunderland who recovered my bag and Matchbook after they were stolen from my car and left abandoned on the road outside Roker Park.

"I can’t thank him enough for his diligence and public spiritedness."

Nick said today he had been informed his book had been recovered before he even knew it was stolen: "I was staying at my partner Joanne's in Whitburn and parked the car outside last night," he said.

"I was hunkered up in bed this morning and the phone goes. A guy says 'I've got your bag and matchbook.

"He said 'I found it on the road outside Roker Park this morning on my way to work',."

Nick went outside to find his car had been broken into: "It was clearly opportunistic," he said.

"They have just grabbed my bag and my big coat.

"I went down to Bristol Street Motors where John works and he said they had just dumped the bag.

"A coat is just a coat but losing the matchbook would have been a real blow - that would have been the biggest blow of all, it really is irreplaceable.

"I am just so pleased i put my phone number in the front and very grateful to John for picking it up. Anybody else would probably just have left the bag there but he took it to work, found the number and got in touch."