A Leighton Town supporter who has visited 355 football grounds worldwide is launching an urgent appeal to help find his special stadium hat which disappeared in Milton Keynes.
Jess Cully, 47, of Heath and Reach lost his limited edition black beanie on the morning of Saturday, November 10, at some point between catching the no.150 Arriva bus to Midsummer Boulevard and going to a medical centre on South Fifth Street.
The hat is of tremendous sentimental value to Mr Cully because he is a member of the ‘100 Grounds Club’ and received the beanie in recognition of his visits to over 100 football pitches worldwide.
Mr Cully, an associate member, said: “It has enormous sentimental value for me and not only does it signify my being a groundhopper and member of the club, but I have worn it to countless football matches all over the world and had my photo taken wearing it with several favourite women’s football stars.
“I am an Asperger’s sufferer and genuinely do not feel right or happy attending matches in a boring, anonymous, plain hat.
“After I lost it, I was desperately trying to get hold of my friends on the phone. I really needed someone to talk to, because with my condition, I can’t cope with these emotions.”
Remembering his actions that morning, Mr Cully says he left the bus stop at Midsummer Boulevard and went to the nearby Jurys Inn reception to have a sit down.
He then attended his medical appointment at the InHealth Clinic Diagnostics Centre, South Fifth Street.
He remembers that he definitely didn’t have the hat after he came out of the clinic, however, both Arriva and the Jurys Inn have not found the beanie.
Now, Mr Cully is hoping that someone may have picked it up or seen something.
He said: “Perhaps I put it on the seat of the 150 [bus] on the way to the clinic and forgot to pick it up?
“I just can’t believe it. I’m utterly devastated.
“I have worn the hat in a photo with England and ex Notts County player, Laura Bassett, and England player Amy Turner loved the hat when I had my photo taken with her. She thought it was cool!”
Mr Cully is a big supporter of women’s football and its international tournament, the ‘SheBelieves Cup’.
His favourite stadiums are in America - the Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, with its fried chicken, and whisky and cokes, and the “well designed” Orlando Stadium with its “great view of the pitch”.
He also likes to keep things closer to home, supporting Leighton Town and visiting non-league grounds in England to try out the clubs’ local beers.
He added: “The hat has been with me to grounds in Switzerland, Denmark, Holland and the States. I’ve only had it for about a year and there is a reward on offer.
“If you spot my hat, please pick it up if it’s lying around, or if you already have it I will be eternally grateful if you return it. It means a lot to me.”
The black hat bears the green logo of the groundhoppers’ society the 100 Football Grounds Club.
If anyone has found the hat, please email Mr Cully on firstname.lastname@example.org or call the newsdesk on 01582 798505.