The auction, conducted by Fellows’ Managing Director Stephen Whittaker, was the highlight of the evening with guests frantically outbidding one another in order to secure themselves a piece of sporting history.
The first lot to take to the stand was a running vest signed by the Jamaican track and field team. Bidding started at a modest £100 but rapidly reached an impressive £4,200 in the room, selling to celebrity chef and businessman Levi Roots.
The second lot – a pair of spikes signed by the world’s fastest man Usain Bolt – really got the crowd excited. With a bidding war instantly surfacing, the fascinating sporting memorabilia sold for a staggering £25,000. Eamon Gaughan, founder of The Torque Project, who was the successful bidder said:
“It is the best 25 grand I have ever spent! Winning Usain Bolt’s running spikes and meeting the man in person: amazing! Helping to bring a Jamaican student to our great city and one of the country’s finest Universities: even better!”
The atmosphere was truly electric, with celebrity guest Beverly Knight tweeting: “Tremendous generosity at the Jamaica Olympic team dinner tonight, bloke bid over 25k for Usain Bolt’s running spikes!”
The money raised will go towards supporting a life-changing opportunity for a student resident in Jamaica to study at the University of Birmingham, delivering a true Olympic legacy for the city and the Jamaican community.