A DEFLATED ball has raised £9,000 at a charity auction – a 14-fold increase on the amount it raked in last year.
The Hartlepool United ball – believed to have been signed by the Pools team of 1986 – was auctioned for the 19th time at the Barnardo’s Sportsman’s Dinner Durham.
The red, white and blue ball, which was given to the group in the early 90s along with other football memorabilia, raised £700 last year at the auction.
But this year kind-hearted bidders really pushed the boat out with one paying £5,000 for it before instantly re-donating it to the auction where another person paid £2,000 for it and re-donated it, before it was finally sold again for another £2,000.
The amount raised on the auction of the ball has been included in a combined total of £32,000 for the children’s charity Barnardo’s, subject to everyone paying what they had pledged.
Keith Johnson, auctioneer and chairman of JW Wood Estate Agents and of Barnardo’s Durham Committee, said he is now thinking about getting the ball insured.
He said: “Our famous Hartlepool ball raised £9,000. Having sold it to our main sponsor for £5,000, I then sold it to his accountant for £2,000 and then again to a local supporter for a further £2,000. It’s just fantastic. I think all the publicity it’s had has helped a great deal.
“I don’t think it will ever go for that amount again, but it’s certainly served it’s purpose. It’s been a brilliant item and we’d just like to thank the bidders who gave so generously.”
Janice Heathcote, community fundraising manager for Barnardo’s North East, said: “I would like to take this opportunity of thanking the Durham Committee and their guests for supporting Barnardo’s North East. We are delighted with the astounding amount of money raised by so many generous people, which will help to make a real difference to the lives of so many vulnerable children here in the region.”
The charity dinner was held at the Ramside Hall, in Durham City.