Police probe Dale’s fund

Dale Roberts
Dale Roberts

POLICE have launched an investigation after a complaint was made about a trust fund set up following the tragic death of a footballer.

Northamptonshire Police have launched a fraud inquiry after allegations were made about the account set up in memory of Rushden and Diamonds’ Horden-born goalkeeper Dale Roberts.

Dale, 24, took his own life in December and a memorial fund was immediately set up to help his family meet funeral costs as the nature of his death meant all insurance policies were invalid.

The investigation is at a very early stage after a complaint was made at Wellingborough police station, and no arrests have been made.

Rushden and Diamonds’ chief executive Steve Beasant said: “This is getting out of hand and I find it totally vile what is being said.

“The account was set up and those details were published at the time.

“The single biggest donation was £3,000 from the Neville brothers, Gary and Phil. The £6,000 funeral costs were paid in full. We had a problem with cloning and around £2,000 was taken from the account, which Barclays replaced.

“All our accounts have been frozen. All of the money which has been put in that account has been fully accounted for.

“Any surplus will solely be used in that boy’s name.

“I guarantee that any money left will be used for that purpose.”

A Northamptonshire Police spokesman said: “An allegation of fraud in relation to the Dale Roberts Fund has been reported to Wellingborough Police Station and is currently under investigation. No arrests have been made to date.”

Gary Calder, who was chairman at the time the account was set up, declined to comment.

David Cairns, who has carried out fundraising for Dale Roberts’ family in Hartlepool and east Durham, said the family were aware of the allegations but did not wish to comment.