Anger at traders cashing in on tragic couple

Denis Thwaites,70 and Elaine Thwaites 69
Denis Thwaites,70 and Elaine Thwaites 69
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  • eBay traders selling goods linked to Denis Thwaites’ early footballing career
  • Denis and wife Elaine, killed in Tunisia terrorist atrocity, laid to rest this week
  • Birmingham City to honour couple with minute’s silence on Saturday

Football fans have reacted with disgust to a bid to sell a wage cheque once belonging to Tunisia massacre victim Denis Thwaites.

Mr Thwaites, 70, and his wife 69-year-old wife Elaine were both killed when gunman Seifeddine Rezgui opened fire on tourists in the resort of Sousse last month.

A programme from Denis Thwaites' debut is up for auction on eBay.

A programme from Denis Thwaites' debut is up for auction on eBay.

The couple’s funeral, which took place on Wednesday at the United Reformed Church in Fairhaven, was attended by hundreds of mourners.

Former professional footballer Mr Thwaites played for Birmingham City for more than 10 years until his retirement in 1971.

Now Blues fans have been left furious after a listing appeared on internet auction site Ebay offering for sale a 1970 wage slip once belonging to Mr Thwaites.

The slip was listed for £19.99 and was described as being in “good condition”.

It’s despicable and in grotesquely bad taste.

Nic Xydias

Yesterday, the sellers, calling themselves ‘edgbastonsports’, had removed the item from sale. However, their original posting included a short biography describing how Mr Thwaites was caught up in the beach attack.

Birmingham City fans’ spokesman and blogger Nic Xydias, 45, said: “It’s despicable and in grotesquely bad taste. The chap has just died and someone is trying to profit from his recent death.

”He was a very skilful player who was committed to the club and was very well-loved.

“He’s certainly part of the club’s hall of fame for being a committed player. There are some very mean-spirited people who are trying to profit from his tragic death in these circumstances.”

Yesterday another listing appeared on eBay offering for sale a 1961 programme for a League Cup clash between Swindon Town and Birmingham City where Mr Thwaites made his debut as a player

He made 95 appearances and scored 21 goals but never became a first team regular due to suffering big match nerves.

The seller, who calls himself harakiboy, admits the programme makes no mention of Mr Thwaites, who was a late addition to the squad, but adds: “I believe that this was the first team debut for 17-year-old Denis Thwaites who recently perished in the Tunisian atrocity.

“It’s in fair condition. Thwaites name does not appear in the programme – he was a late change.”

Meanwhile, Birmingham City will pay tribute to Mr and Mrs Thwaites ahead of the pre-season home fixture against Leicester City.

A club spokesman said: “As well as recognising Denis and Elaine with a minute’s silence before kick-off, and in the matchday programme, Blues will also use the occasion to remember the 36 other victims that sadly lost their lives on the same day in Sousse.”

The Blues host the Foxes at St Andrew’s on Saturday, August 1 (3pm), in their final pre-season match.

The Gazette attempted to make contact with both sellers but has had no reply.