Celebrities rally round to replace poppy appeal cash stolen at Barnsbury pub

Musician Ed Sheeran and Rugby World Cup winner Kyran Bracken are among those lending a hand.

Celebrities and sports stars have rallied round to replace cash stolen from a pub’s poppy appeal by “scumbags” 48 hours before Remembrance Day.

Rugby World Cup winner Kyran Bracken MBE has donated a signed shirt for auction, while musician Ed Sheeran and Anthony Costa from boyband Blue have backed a charity concert at The Barnsbury next week.

The whole community has been shocked by the callous theft on November 9 which saw three girls enter the Liverpool Road pub, distract the staff and make off with the donation box.

An estimated �140 was in the pot.

The Barnsbury owner Steve Coxshall, said: “The message to these scumbags is run and hide because you are going to get caught and we are going to raise a lot more than the money you stole.”

The pub is one of the most-veteran friendly boozers in the capital – every year Mr Coxshall puts on a slap-up lunch for them with free food and drink the day before Remembrance Sunday.

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He said: “I called the pub in the morning to make sure all the staff wore poppies and the manager told me there was a bit of a problem.

“These low-lifes nicked it the day before so they knew it would be full.

“I didn’t tell the veterans – some of them are in their 90s and they don’t want to hear about people like this with no respect and no remorse. They are the most humble people, they won’t accept the free drinks – you have to tell them that it’s your treat.

“This put dampener on an otherwise really nice day.”

Mr Coxshall has been impressed by public reaction to the crime. Pledges have been coming in thick and fast, including one person who gave �100 cash when he heard the story in the pub.

Mr Coxshall said: “The upside is how the community has pulled together. There were 750 retweets within five hours. Several people have agreed to match the amount stolen and an artist from Canada has donated a painting for us to auction.

“We are putting on a concert to raise money. I will put on some free nibbles and we will pass a bucket round. There are some really good acts on who are on the brink of breaking into the mainstream.

“I would urge people to come down and support something which will be a massive kick in the teeth to the scum who stole this money.”

So far, �800 has been raised by the pub.

The charity concert takes place on November 30 and features Jenny Hallam, Sebastian Blake, Jerry dela Vega, Jackson Nightmountain and Lanre Njoku.