The winning trainer of the 1968 Grand National is appealing for the return of his trophy after it was stolen from his home in Co Durham.

Denys Smith trained Red Alligator to win the world’s most famous steeplechase in 1968. To commemorate his win he was presented with a silver trophy engraved with the race’s date, and the words ‘Red Alligator’ trained by Denys Smith.

“It’s silly really as it isn’t any use to anyone,” says Denys. “It just holds a great deal of sentimental value and I would really like to have it back.”

The trophy was stolen along with some jewellery when thieves broke into the trainer’s Bishop Auckland home while he and his wife were out at a party.

The silver trophy stands on a brown wood base around 9ins high, anyone with any information should contact Denys Smith (tel: 01388 603317).