Cheltenham Town players robbed on eve of big FA Cup tie

Cheltenham Town's Darryl Duffy in action. Photo: PA

On the eve of the biggest football match in their history, Cheltenham Town players are reeling after their training ground was burgled.

Thieves struck yesterday morning at the club's training ground in the Swindon Village area of Cheltenham, stealing wallets, watches and smartphones worth thousands of pounds.

Tonight League Two outfit Cheltenham take on Premier League giants Everton in the FA Cup third round.

Robins striker Darryl Duffy took to Twitter to vent his frustration at the theft of his Samsung Galaxy S3 mobile phone and said he would buy it back given the chance.

"It was stolen from me, it's white and has all my pics/videos of my kids in it so it means a lot to me. Cannot stand thieves," he wrote.

"Me, Stevie, Jake, Jermaine and Shaun all got our stuff nicked from our pockets whilst we were out training."

Gloucestershire Police said two 17-year-olds, from Cheltenham, had been arrested in connection with the incident.

Between 10.45am and midday thieves entered the training rooms at the site on Quat Goose Lane and stole wallets, mobile phones and watches.

Keys to two vehicles parked outside were also taken and the cars entered. Wallets were taken from inside.

The thefts were reported to Gloucestershire Police at 12.30pm and at around 4pm officers arrested two 17-year-old boys on suspicion of theft.

They have been bailed to return to Cheltenham police station on February 13.

A force spokeswoman said: "Some of the stolen items have been recovered. Police are appealing for witnesses and ask anyone with information about the thefts to call Gloucestershire Police."

The televised game sees the Abbey Business Stadium sold out as the Gloucestershire minnows hope to upset the five-times cup winners and progress to the fourth round for only the third time in the club's history.

An away tie at either Bolton or Sunderland is the reward for the victors.