A HEADSTONE vandalised at Penarth Cemetery – seemingly for being engraved with the emblem of Cardiff City Football Club – has prompted a police appeal to find the perpetrators.

Vandals targeted the grave of former RAF serviceman Paul 'Duffy' Duff, who died in 2011 aged 46, spraying paint directly onto the Cardiff City crest at some stage between Sunday, February 11 and Wednesday, February 21.

Mr Duff's partner Caroline had last visited the cemetery on February 11 – the seventh anniversary of his death – and was told by a friend while she was away that the grave had been targeted. When she returned home, she was left devastated by what she saw.

"It’s disgraceful," said Mrs Duff.

"There’s no respect for anybody’s property, let alone the fact that it was done at a graveyard where I come, my boys come, my friends come.

"It's disgusting."

Mr Duff was a lifelong supporter and season-ticket holder at Cardiff City prior to his death, and his family came up with the idea to have the emblem engraved on his headstone when he died.

Mrs Duff added that she was shocked something like this had happened such a long time after the stone was first installed, but intends to have it cleaned and back in its original form as soon as possible.

The stone will have to be removed for cleaning and it is likely the emblem, colouring and lettering will have to be replaced, set to cost the family nearly £400.

But after Mrs Duff posted about what had happened on Facebook, a combination of friends and the local community have chipped in to support the family by setting up a fundraiser to have the stone cleaned, and have already raised the money needed.

"We’ve had a big reaction on Facebook," said Mrs Duff.

"It has been really nice actually. When I was first reading the comments I was quite moved by them to see how deeply people are disgusted by what’s happened, and how much they cared about Paul.

"Anything we raise over the amount it will cost to have the stone cleaned will go towards the RAF Benevolent Fund, who helped us out when Paul died."

A spokeswoman for South Wales Police said: "South Wales Police is investigating criminal damage that has occurred at Penarth cemetery on Castle Avenue.

"A headstone belonging to the late Paul Duff has been vandalised with pink spray paint. The Cardiff emblem will have to be recreated due to the process that is used to remove the paint.

"If anyone has any information about this crime, they are asked to contact police on 101 quoting ref: 1800065543 or Crimestoppers on 0800555111."