A colossal collection of outstanding sporting items is going under the hammer in aid of Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW).
Former Somerset County Cricket Club chairman Andy Nash has called on favours from across the cricketing world and beyond to gather an incredible haul of more than 20 items, including test match tickets, ‘money-can’t-buy’ experiences and unique memorabilia.
Andy will be running the Virgin Money London Marathon later this month and is hoping to raise £26,000 for CHSW – £1,000 for every mile of the world-famous road race. The money raised through the online auction will go towards his target and will help the charity offer vital care and respite to more than 500 south west families at its three hospices in Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.
The special eBay auction will go live on Monday, April 15, ending on April 22.
Among the lots up for grabs is the signed cricket shirt worn by England superstar Jos Buttler during his innings of 150 oﬀ 70 balls against the West Indies in February this year.
There is a hospitality match-day package at the completely sold-out Day Three of this September’s Fifth Ashes Test at the Oval, as well as a VIP experience for two at the England v Ireland test at Lords that includes a stay at MCC CEO Guy Lavender’s house the night before!
Alongside a host of big match tickets, other eye-catching lots include an hour’s batting masterclass at Somerset County Cricket Club’s indoor school, and tennis coaching with an LTA coach. There’s a rugby ball signed by Exeter Chiefs’ Premiership-winning squad; a British Lions shirt signed by Jeremy Guscot; a week’s stay in a luxury Spanish villa; and books written and signed by Lord Jeffrey Archer.
And Somerset fans are expected to bid big for an executive box for 20 people in the Ondaatje Pavilion for the side’s ﬁrst game under the new LED ﬂoodlights on April 26. Andy, aged 61 from Cheddon Fitzpaine, will be taking a break from his marathon training to talk about his fundraising efforts for CHSW at the Royal London One-Day Cup game against Essex, which is being screened live on Sky Sports.
Andy, who is also a former director of the ECB said: “Training from scratch for a marathon has been a ‘character building experience’ as previously I’d only run occasionally to make the pub before closing!
The support and generosity from my family, sports clubs, friends and colleagues has been amazing and I’m immensely grateful to each and every one of them.
“I’m looking forward to the race with some trepidation, but I’m told the carnival type atmosphere helps you along – I certainly hope so!
“I’ve also immensely enjoyed working with the hospices’ dedicated staff and volunteers and I’m determined to repay their faith in me by delivering for CHSW on the day.”
CHSW fundraising manager Emma Perry said: “Andy has done an incredible job organising this auction alongside his busy marathon training schedule and remarkable fundraising efforts.
Andy's auction will not only offer people the chance to bid for some superb experiences, it will help families of children with life-limiting conditions make many precious memories of their own.
“We really hope people will show their support and we look forward to being at the County Ground with Andy on April 26, and to cheering him on in London at the marathon on April 28.”
To view the lots and start bidding on the items from April 15, visit the special Andy Nash page on the Children’s Hospice South West’s eBay shop page.
You can also make a donation to Andy’s fundraising on his Virgin Money Giving page.
And you can keep up to date with Andy’s London Marathon training progress by following his blog.