SW19 Diary: A cautionary tale about playing doubles with Plod

Daylight robbery is often used to describe food prices at the All England Club. Now an actual robbery on an audacious scale, related to the tennis here, is being investigated by the police.
The SW19 Diary can exclusively reveal that a lorry-load of tennis kit, made by Adidas for its many sponsored players to wear here during the championships, was nicked last Thursday.

The Independent understands the kits were pilfered from a truck that had been sent from Germany to London. The lorry was parked in an unconfirmed east London location overnight when, according to a source, "opportunist thieves" broke into it and stole the consignment. A source tells us that 390 boxes of shirts, shorts and other clothing were stolen.

The Diary has also been told that in a stroke of good fortune, a quantity of Adidas footwear, designed specially for grass courts, was on the lorry but was not stolen. The kit was quickly and easily replaced. "If the shoes had been pinched, we might really have had a problem," a source said.

The tale has an ironic twist because the gear was on its way to a central London hotel where Adidas executives are staying. That hotel is a stone's throw from Scotland Yard.

A spokesperson for Adidas said: "Adidas can confirm that boxes containing kit en route to the Wimbledon Championships were stolen last week. However, Adidas was able to replace all the items within 24 hours so none of the tennis players were affected. Adidas is working closely with the Metropolitan Police and, as this is an ongoing investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage."

In a cautionary tale for diarists everywhere, we feel it right and proper to add another detail to this story. For a while yesterday, due to crossed wires somewhere in the police system, The Diary was, to use a well-known phrase "helping police with their inquiries".

This came about because rather than just rely solely on one gilt-edged and trustworthy source, we went the extra mile to verify details with Mr Plod, double-sourcing as all good sleuth hacks should do. A call was duly made to the Metropolitan Police.

Shortly afterwards, Inspector Knacker of Wimbledon police station phoned to say he believed we were in possession of information about the whereabouts of a consignment of stolen goods.

"Not us, guv," The Diary explained. "We just wanted the police to confirm they're looking into a robbery from a lorry."

A couple of sweaty hours later, after The Diary had fretted about being nicked for a heist we had no part in, Inspector Knacker called back to tell us we were off the hook and indeed our story was right after all.

Phew. Pass us a sweatband. An Adidas one will do.

Big screen blackout in Murray country

The Tennis Foundation describes itself as "Britain's foremost tennis charity, who work alongside organisations such as local authorities, LTA, AELTC, Sports England, UK Sport, Football Foundation, GLA, Youths Sport Trust."

It's a laudable organisation, of course, and one of its latest projects is helping to promote local tennis facilities up and down the country. Part of the promotion has involved the erection of 16 giant screens where fans can watch Wimbledon. The location list in full: Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Derby, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Norwich, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Rotherham, Swansea, Swindon and Waltham Forest.

Two questions in the year that Andy Murray is carrying British hopes. Where is Murray from? How many screens are in Scotland? Good work, fellas.

Federer's period pieces cut a dash

Roger Federer's natty line in period costume continues to impress with this waistcoat. But where will it stop? With a top hat and a monocle?

Box's Curry flavour

Hot stuff in the Royal Box yesterday – there were two people called Curry, plus a Mr and Mrs Pepper. For those of schoolboy humour, there was also a Fok and two called Cox.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project