LITTLE Tommy Palmer, from Newbury, is a very lucky five-year-old.

While playing football recently, the lawn he was standing on suddenly split into two.

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First, his bike plunged into the gaping hole, then his new football quickly followed and, all the time, he was frozen to the spot, barely a yard from the edge.

Tommy was at the home of his grandparents, Joe and Sue Palmer, in South Wales, where sinkholes had appeared in the past, usually close to where an old pit once stood.

‘Miracle Tommy’ – as he’s now known – has been unable to return to his home near Newbury, because of the Covid-19 virus lockdown.

Joe Palmer said: “It was a great shock to us all. Tommy was massively lucky. A miracle!

“Neighbours believe a tunnel leading to the old Garw Pit caved in. It was very deep. Tommy’s bike got smashed up, so I’ll be putting my hand in my pocket for a new one.”

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Tommy’s parents, Alf and Doreen, were still isolated in Newbury last night. Alf said: “We can’t wait to get to Tommy and give him a huge hug.

“We’ve already bought him a new football. It will be great for us all to be back together again.”

Sergeant Ted Griffiths, head of Aber Tidy Police, said: “Mere inches came between Tommy and a very nasty accident. I’ve spoken to the lad, and told him he was very brave.