17/08/2018 15:43 BST | Updated 20/08/2018 16:53 BST

Woman's Stolen Wallet Is Returned... 18 Years Later

A picture of Eric Cantona was still inside.

Eighteen years after it was stolen, a woman has had her wallet returned to her – with a prized picture of Eric Cantona still inside.

Joanne Beaven’s wallet disappeared after her handbag was swiped from a St Ives hotel in 2000, when she was 21. 

On Sunday the item, now wet and muddy, mysteriously reappeared after it was posted through the letterbox of Cambridgeshire police station.

Police used Beaven’s then-provisional driving licence to trace her whereabouts. Her bank cards were under her maiden name, Kimpton. 

A note pinned to the bag said it was found in a ditch in the same park where Beaven’s handbag was found 18 years earlier.

While cash left in the wallet was gone, a picture of retired footballer Cantona could still be made out. 

Beaven joked to the BBC that “every girl should” have a picture of Cantona, who ended his career at Manchester United, in their wallet.

Hunts Police/Facebook

She told the corporation she had completely forgotten about her long-lost wallet until Police Community Support Officer Phil Davies called her. 

“It was a bit of a shock for my mum when a policeman knocked on her door, particularly when he said he’d found my driving licence,” she said.

Beaven said her wallet was now “pretty gross” but she plans to keep it as a keepsake.

“I was quite surprised to get it back to be honest, but it’s lovely that the police took the time to find me as obviously they’ve got a gazillion other things to do with their day.”