Football Championship Ring Returned After 23 Years

The owner left the ring in his car

By Justin Hinton
|  Tuesday, Dec 27, 2011  |  Updated 7:04 PM CDT
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After 23 years, a man's Championship football ring has been returned.

Chris Van Horne, Fort Worth Reporter

After 23 years, a man's Championship football ring has been returned.

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A championship football player and the championship ring he earned have been reunited after 23 years.

In 1988, Kelly Bonner prepared to go in for a power-lifting workout. He took off his championship ring and placed it in his truck's ashtray before heading onto the Fort Worth area field. Later that same day, he traded in his truck, completely unaware that he had set the ring in the ashtray.

As he drove from the Arlington dealership with his brand new car, he realized his mistake. He found a pay phone to call the dealership, but never received the answer he had hoped for-- until he received a phone call from McMurry University informing him his ring had been found, 23 years later and one city over.

After purchasing a desk from a thrift store, Fort Worth resident David Garcia discovered the ring in a desk drawer.

"I looked in the back and saw something shiny and had to unwedge it," Garcia said. "It was wedged up in the corner and I pulled it out and there it was."

He contacted the university engraved on the ring which set into motion the ring's return to its rightful owner. Garcia says he was motivated to find the ring's owner because his son had been a high school championship football player. He knew how hard his son had worked to earn that title and wanted this ring returned to its owner.

David Garcia and his wife met Bonner over dinner to return the ring. Bonner said it meant a lot to have the item returned.

"It's definitely the right thing to do," Garcia said. "We told him that night, to get a blessing, you've got to give a blessing, so, boom, there it is."

To show his appreciation, he paid for dinner and returned home.

"It's very uplifting, very nice for somebody to do something like this and follow through and make sure it gets back to its owner," Bonner said.

After returning home, instead of putting the ring in a box, he looped a leather strip around its center and placed it on his Christmas tree-- an ornament 23 years in the making.

NBC 5's Chris Van Horne contributed to this report.

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