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Captain Sir Tom Moore Covid victims memorial vandalised in 'disgusting' attack
8 April 2021, 14:31 | Updated: 8 April 2021, 18:55
A memorial dedicated to the victims of the coronavirus pandemic bearing a quote from Captain Sir Tom Moore has been vandalised days after it was unveiled.
The memorial in Fenton Park, which included a plaque bearing a message from the late NHS-fundraiser who inspired the nation, was left badly damaged with flowers ripped from a wreath commemorating more than 700 Stoke residents who died from Covid-19.
Emma Owen, 40, from Fenton, said: "It's disgusting and disrespectful when people have lost people to coronavirus. I hope they find out who is responsible.
"We know a few people who have died through Covid-19 and it's not nice. We should be grateful that the council chose to put a memorial in Fenton Park as it's good to have it in Fenton."
Annah Williams, 34, added: "The plaque with Captain Tom on being destroyed is horrible, I can't believe it, it's awful.
"This was a nice place for people to come. We come here every day and always see people having a look around."
The memorial garden, which was discovered to have been vandalised on Wednesday afternoon, was only unveiled last month and marked the start of the first lockdown.
It included a bench dedicated to healthcare workers who died in the pandemic, as well as the plaque with Captain Sir Tom Moore's quote: "The sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away."
Karen Smith, 60, from Fenton, said: "It's shocking how people can be so thoughtless. I don't understand why somebody would do that sort of thing."
She added: "Some people just don't have any respect for anything. It's awful and makes you feel like why bother having anything nice."
Second World War veteran Captain Tom raised more than £32 million for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday on April 30 last year.
He died at Bedford Hospital on February 2 after testing positive for Covid-19.
His fundraising efforts inspired a nation as people struggled to come to terms with the upheaval brought by the pandemic and the lockdown, and he was praised by politicians and the Queen, who sent a private message to his family after his death.
Captain Tom was given a knighthood at Windsor Castle from the Queen.
He was famous for providing uplifting quotes - such as the one on the vandalised plaque - including his remark that "tomorrow will be a good day".
Relatives of the veteran have organised fundraisers in his memory since he died.