The British & Irish Lions’ first-ever online charity auction raised more than £70,000 as iconic items from the official archive attracted bidders from around the globe.
Supporting the Lions Trust, the official charity of the tourists, the auction included items from the 2021 Lions squad, Lions legends, the four home unions, Six Nations and SA Rugby.
There were three rounds to the auction, which kicked off on 3 July to coincide with the date of the first match of the 2021 Tour to South Africa, and it ran for just under 10 weeks.
Among the unique items up for grabs were squad signed jerseys from the Lions, All Blacks, Springboks and Wallabies; a match-worn jersey from Richard Hill (Lion #663); an official player blazer belonging to Ieuan Evans (Lion #616); a Tour kit bag from Gavin Hastings (Lion #606); a rare Scotland-Ireland v England-Wales 1955 jersey; and signed squad photos dating back to 1959.
Other auction highlights included experiences such as a personal video call with Sam Warburton (Lion #800), a dinner appearance with Martin Johnson (Lion #658) and a golf day with Lawrence Dallaglio (Lions #661) and Jeremy Guscott (Lion #628).
The Lions Trust exists to support all Lions players in need, alongside furthering the spirit, values and ethos of the Lions through rugby clubs and communities across the four home nations.
Established in 2002, it is made up solely of trustees that have represented the tourists – Gavin Hastings (Chairman of Trustees), Richard Hill, Fergus Slattery and Sam Warburton.
The Trust’s purpose is to fulfil and further the values of the Lions through practical and direct means, contributing to the Lions’ responsibility to the past while also helping protect the future of rugby’s most special sporting and social entity.
The Trust also seeks to nurture ongoing relationships with all Lions to recognise and celebrate the contributions they have made to the Lions legacy.
For more information on the Lions Trust, please visit lionsrugby.com/lions-trust