September 18 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Jack Nowell and Freddie Burns donate iconic England kit worn against Wales and the All Blacks to Barnstaple mum for special eBay auction.
RUGBY fans have the chance to own a signed England international shirt and boots worn against Wales and the All Blacks after a fantastic response to a Barnstaple mum’s auction for the Chemo Appeal.
Breast cancer sufferer Julie Lewis, 56, was delighted when a charity auction of a signed Exeter Chief’s playing shirt worn by her scrum son Dave raised £395 towards the new chemotherapy unit.
Now a new eBay auction is about to go live after his big-hearted rugby mates Jack Nowell and Freddie Burns offered to help by donating treasured kit worn on international duty.
Jack, who plays alongside Dave at the Chiefs, is giving a signed shirt embroidered to commemorate only his fourth England cap, against Wales on March 9 of this year.
Freddie, of Leicester Tigers, has donated signed boots worn during the June 7 first test against New Zealand in Auckland, in which he scored with four penalty kicks.
Julie has just finished chemotherapy, but that has not stopped her from taking part in the recent Race for Life event three days after her chemo; all doing all she can to help cancer charities.
Fly half Freddie has been friends with Dave since their Gloucester Rugby Club days and is practically part of the Lewis family: “Julie is a close family friend. I was inspired by the way she has tackled such a tough period in her life and to say I was inspired by the way she ran Race for Life so soon after her last chemo would be an understatement,” he said.
“To donate these boots was an easy decision; hopefully they can raise some good money for a fantastic cause.”
Julie and her husband Gwyn were proud of Dave for donating his Aviva Premiership playing shirt, but stunned when unasked, the others offered to help.
“Both boys were very keen to do it and I must admit, I cried,” said Julie.
“It’s very touching and this appeal seems to have suddenly become even bigger. We have been humbled by everyone’s’ generosity and would like to thank all the people, many of whom are anonymous, for the fantastic donations they made for the original appeal.”
‘Amazing chemo unit’
Dave added: “I was so thankful to the amazing staff at the chemo unit in Barnstaple for how well they have helped mum and I wanted to do something to help.
“I’m completely blown away by how much the Exeter Chiefs shirt went for, and then the fact the boys offered their kit too, super proud to have such generous friends.”
Something money can’t buy
“The shirt and boots are completely unique, you can’t buy anything like this,” said Gwyn.
“I think it illustrates the gravity with which they have donated, as you don’t give things like this away lightly.”
Jack urged people to search for the shirt and boots on eBay and to give generously: “I’ve known Dave for over a year and he’s a really great mate, when I heard he’d given his shirt to be auctioned I wanted to see if I could help,” he said.
“It’s a fantastic cause and Julie is such a lovely lady that I decided to give my England shirt – I hope it raises a load of cash for the unit.
“We’ll all be retweeting it and sharing it as much as possible, so keep your eyes peeled!”
Auction opens 8pm tonight!
* Bidding opens at 8pm tonight (Wednesday, August 13) and the auction ends at 8pm on August 22.