The Sky Bet #BidToRemember signed football shirts auction raised £118,897 for The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.Sky Bet, title sponsor of The Football League, organised the auction and all 24 Championship clubs put up over 650 signed shirts and invited fans to bid for them.
All the money raised will be used by The Royal British Legion to provide funding for services such as the Battle Back Centre in Lilleshall, an adaptive sport and adventurous training facility for wounded, injured and sick Service personnel.
The cheque for £118,897 was presented to the Legion by Wolves players Carl Ikeme and Tommy Rowe, and was accepted by ex-Sapper Clive Smith – a Wolves fan – who lost both legs serving in Afghanistan in 2010. Clive spent time at the Battle Back Centre as part of his recovery in 2012.
Brentford's shirts raised more than any other club, with the 34 on offer selling for a total of £10,443.
The most expensive shirt – worn by Chris Martin in Derby County’s 5-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers – went for £860.
The second most expensive shirts, worn by Martin’s team-mates Will Hughes and Johnny Russell, were sold for £820 each.
A limited-edition camouflage kit supplied by Millwall, and signed by the entire Lions squad, raised £680.
Sky Bet Head of Sponsorship Edwin Martin said: “The response to the #BidToRemember shirt auction from fans all over the world has been absolutely incredible.
“We had bids from China, America and all over Europe, and the amount raised will go towards helping members of the Armed Forces community by funding vital facilities such as the Battle Back Centre.”
The Royal British Legion Director of Fundraising, Charles Byrne, said: “The money raised from the Poppy Appeal helps us to support the Armed Forces community 365 days a year. We support Service personnel, veterans who are transitioning back into civilian life or have left the Forces, and importantly their families too.
“Thank you to Sky Bet, The Football League, all of the participating clubs and, most importantly, all of the fans who bought a shirt.”