Published Thursday, 21 March 2013
Paul Clark returns John McNally's silver boxing medal to its rightful owner. (© Pacemaker)
John McNally became the first ever Irish boxer to win an Olympic medal when he took home the silver at 1952 Helsinki Summer games.
But last weekend, the 80-year-old realised his precious award was gone, and after appeals went out on U105 and UTV, the medal was returned anonymously.
John usually keeps the medal hidden, but when he went to retrieve it last Friday night to display it at a sporting function, the award could not be found.
On Saturday, the box turned up in the room of the south Belfast residential home where John lives, but it was empty.
"It's the most peculiar thing," he said.
"After all these years, it was never out of my sight except when it was hidden away."
He made an emotional appeal to UTV and U105, and the medal was handed in at Havelock House on Thursday.
And there was an emotional reunion for the prize boxer and his cherished award.
"I'm over the moon," he said, "I felt like crying when I got the call to say it had been handed in."
"It's great news."
John said he was not expecting to get his medal back so quickly, adding that he will never let it out of his sight again.
He regularly shows the medals to young people, hopeful it will spur them on to personal success.
"I do a lot of guest shows about the country and I can't go without that," he explained.
"There's not much point in bringing me unless you've got the medal to show them."
© UTV News