A Wallsend teenager who referees football matches to earn money was the victim of thieves as the officiated a game.
Brandyn Ford, 15, was given an iPhone 5S for Christmas, and so to help cover the costs of using the mobile he took up refereeing.
But during his first game at Amberley Playing Fields, where he took charge of an under-7’s game, his phone was stolen from his tracksuit pocket on the side of the pitch.
When Brandyn discovered the phone had gone and informed his parents and they tried calling the handset, but it had been turned off.
Brandyn said: “It put a dampener on the day as it was my first day refereeing a game.
“It’s frustrating to know someone who took it might be at another game I am at.”
Pc Neil Cowen, of Wallsend neighbourhood police team, said: “Brandyn was helping out other youngsters by refereeing a game of football to try and earn a few pounds for himself.
“He is an honest, hard-working person and a credit to his parents.
“I am appealing to anyone who may have any information as to its whereabouts to do the right thing and give me a call.”
Anyone with information should call the Wallsend neigbourhood police team on 101.