A DELIGHTED man has penned a moving letter to the roadsweeper who found his £21,000 Rolex watch in a drain.

The man, whose watch was snatched in a burglary, heaped praise on Arron Large, calling him a “wonderful young man” and a shining example of how “the great British working man still has honesty, dignity and integrity”.

The watch was given to the victim, who is in his fifties, by his late wife and has huge sentimental value.

He also said in the letter: “I know if my wife was still alive, she would want to give Arron a great big hug. Arron Large – we salute you!”

Arron, 28, from Rayleigh, initially thought his find was worth up to £60,000, but he is happy to give it up.

He said: “I’m not disappointed about not getting to keep it.

“It’s nice the man got it back because his wife bought him the watch before she died. It’s the only valuable item he had.”

The letter brings to an end the mystery of why the Rolex and three fake designer watches turned up in a drain near Chalkwell station.

Luckily, it was honest Arron who found them last week and handed them to the police.

The Echo story on the find was spotted by a friend of the man who had the Rolex and the other watches stolen last September.

He returned to his Chalkwell home to find the burglar inside.

Police believe the crook, who fled, may be known to them, and dumped his haul in case police arrived and searched him.

Arron has been told to keep the other three watches by the burglary victim and has been given an undisclosed sum of cash.

PC Calley Mackay said: “He’s absolutely delighted to have it back. He can’t thank Arron enough. He said to keep the other watches as a memory and to show his boys Brandon and Aiden (Arron’s four-year-old twin sons) how dad was the most honest man in England.”

The victim has twice been burgled in rec- ent months.

The Rolex was uninsured bec- ause he did not realise how much it was worth, but he was more concerned about the sentimental value anyway.

Steve Bart- haud, senior contract manager for Cory Env- ironmental, who Arron works for, said: “We are proud to have someone like him. There’s not many honest people out there, and it’s great that he works for us.

“We will reward him at some point for his efforts.”