Hartlepool golfer Graeme Storm underlined his commitment to the next generation of sports stars by snapping up a signed Liverpool shirt in an auction for Pools’ Youth Development Fund.
The European Tour professional set up the Graeme Storm Junior Open in 2016 and, alongside the Mini Storm Trophy, it has provided a unique opportunity for hundreds of aspiring young golfers in the town.
As a keen Liverpool fan, Storm’s eye was caught when Pools offered up a shirt from the Anfield outfit signed by boss Jurgen Klopp and a host of the Club’s stars in a bid to raise funds for Pools' academy.
The 40-year-old decided it was the perfect way to further demonstrate his passion for helping to develop the sports stars of tomorrow as well as being able to bolster his growing collection of sports memorabilia.
“As soon as I saw the shirt had been signed by Klopp, Salah, Mane and many of the other big-name players I was interested,” explained Storm, who went on to pay £330 to land the sought-after prize.
“But the second thing was that the money was going in to the development of youth players at Hartlepool United and that is something I really wanted to support.
“I have the Junior Open and the Mini Storm Trophy which are helping to develop golf in the area and I love the idea of driving young people’s ability and love for sport.
“I used to love playing football when I was younger – I was never good enough but thankfully I was better at golf and managed to make it through to the European Tour.
“The opportunity to put money in to a local club who are doing what they can to bring through the next wave of talent as well as getting my hands on the shirt was just too good to turn down!”
Storm was at The Super 6 Stadium when Director of Football Craig Hignett and Chief Executive Mark Maguire were delighted to present him with the shirt personally.
“It was great to meet Graeme and it’s a wonderful gesture from him,” Maguire commented.
“I was already aware of the great work he is doing in the town to promote golf to local youngsters but it’s fantastic to see him showing support for our young footballers too.”