Rory’s McIlroy shirt is a Major coup

Gail Thomas, Mandy Griffiths, Karan Sealey, trustee Jan Ward, Joanna Sealey and Gloria Feary with Rory McIlroy’s signed golf shirt.

Gail Thomas, Mandy Griffiths, Karan Sealey, trustee Jan Ward, Joanna Sealey and Gloria Feary with Rory McIlroy’s signed golf shirt.

First published in News

HE has just won a third consecutive golf tournament making him one of the sport’s greats – now a shirt signed by him is up for grabs.

When a Hampshire charity holds its annual golf open day and auction they hope to smash fundraising records when they sell a shirt signed by Rory McIlroy.

Dozens of people will be teeing up to win prizes at the Marriott Meon Valley Hotel in remembrance of a teenager who died from a rare form of cancer.

But the Ben Voller G4 Fund hopes to be the chief prize winner by raising more than ever for the G4 paediatric ward at Southampton General Hospital.

And now their greatest shot comes after they received a signed shirt from world number one golfer Rory McIlroy, days after he won his second Major tournament of the year – the US PGA in Kentucky.

Trustees hope that when the hammer comes down on September 18 they can beat last year’s total of £13,500.

Ben’s mother, Jan, 57, said she was not expecting to be given such a fantastic prize to auction courtesy of Santander – one of McIlroy’s sponsors.

She said: “It’s a complete surprise. I realised that we had got something really good when I heard of Rory’s win in the news. I’m hoping for a big battle and that people will be spending lots of money.”

Ben died in September 2004 on the G4 Ward at Southampton General Hospital after developing a tumour through genetic disorder Von Recklinghausen’s neuro-fibromotosis (NF).

He was cared for during his illness by a team of surgeons, doctors and specialist nurses on G4 before he died.

The following year the 15-year old’s family set up the fund to raise money for sick children, with the cash spent on the equipment and facilities needed by doctors and nurses.

Jan added: “The difference between us and most other charities is that the cash is spent by the doctors and nurses. They tell us what they need and we go and buy it for them.

“It is small things we get, beds, wheelchairs, monitors. There were other things that we discovered that they were going out and buying themselves.”

Alex Fuller, regional director for Santander Corporate Banking in the Solent said the bank chose to provide the shirt for Jan after he met her four years ago.

Other items are up for auction but more support is needed for the day in a bid to smash the £13,500 raised last year.

Businesses are asked to sponsor any of the 18 holes on the day for £100 or donate a prize for the raffle or auction.

For more information contact 023 8024 3424.

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