Welsh MP donates signed England rugby shirt to raise money for local military charity

3 March 2015 16:50

A local military charity is hoping to raise vital funds for its Llandudno centre by auctioning a very special piece of rugby memorabilia, a signed England rugby shirt.

The shirt was kindly donated to Blind Veterans UK by Welsh MP Guto Bebb after he received is as a gift. The Member of Parliament for Aberconwy received the surprise gift following his taking the time to explain the rules of rugby to a visiting British-Ukranian friend. 

The gentleman in question was so grateful he sent the shirt to Mr Bebb as a thank you, not being aware of the fact that the MP would be a staunch Welsh supporter!

Mr Bebb decided to put the shirt to good use and donate it to Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for blind and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women. The charity has decided to auction the shirt off to raise vital funds for its Llandudno centre.

Blind Veterans UK provides free services and help to veterans no matter when they served or how they lost their sight, be it due to accident, illness, or medical condition. The charity currently provides rehabilitation, training, care and recreational activities via its three centres (in Brighton, Llandudno and Sheffield) and a network of welfare staff spanning the UK supporting more than 4000 blind and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.

England famously beat Australia 26 - 17 on 29 November 2014. The shirt features signatures of all squad members including Ben Morgan who scored 2 tries and George Ford who completed the scoring with 2 conversions and 4 penalties. Other signatures include Mike Brown, Courtney Lawes, Chris Robshaw, Billy Twelvetrees, Owen Farrell and Ben Youngs.

Guto Bebb MP said: "It was a very nice gesture to send me a signed rugby shirt. I just wish that it was a Welsh one!

"I thought that the best thing to do was donate the shirt to an amazing charity and as Blind Veterans UK are celebrating 100 years of service in 2015, they seemed like the perfect choice.

"I hope the special shirt finds a good home with a passionate England supporter!"

Victoria Beech, Regional Fundraiser at Blind Veterans UK, said: "Blind Veterans UK is more than happy to take the shirt off Guto's hands! It is a very generous donation and will make some England fan very happy.

"As the 6 Nations comes to an end this is also the perfect gift for the rugby lover in your life. I would recommend checking that they're not a supporter of a different country first though!"

To find out more or to place your bid for this rare item visit www.charitystars.com/product/framed-england-rugby-shirt-signed-by-the-2014-squad-en or call Charity Stars, who are running this auction for the charity, on 020 3301 5800.