08 Apr

A shirt worn by England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler in last summer's World Cup final victory has raised over £65,000 for two London hospitals. Buttler was wearing it when he sealed an historic World Cup final victory for England against New Zealand in July.

He put the shirt on eBay last week to raise money for two specialist centres dealing with the coronavirus response. The unwashed jersey, signed by all of England World Cup squad, attracted 82 bids and sold for £65,100.

The 29-year-old, who grew up in Wedmore, Somerset, said he had been "blown away by the show of support" and the "quite incredible bids".

"It's not been washed - it's certainly authentic and smells like a mixture of sweat and champagne," the Lancashire and England star said. "It was obviously the most special time of my career and means so much but it's great that now it can mean more and go to people who are in urgent need."

The former Somerset player said the money raised would make a "huge difference" to the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals, two specialist heart and lung centres.

Wicket-keeper batsman Jos Buttler also revealed that the donation made by the England team in support of the ECB is to help keep recreational cricket afloat. (See TheDraft article 4/4/20). With the start of the English season delayed until 28 May, there are big question marks over professional and amateur cricket this year.

"Everybody is very aware of our duty as players to contribute where we can," said Buttler. "I think the Hundred's a big thing that may or may not happen this summer. It may get delayed. I know a lot of investment has gone into that. As players we're all very aware of the other effects this is going to have drip-feeding down into the game. Without grassroots' cricket, we're nothing really."

Buttler explained that instead of pouring money in covering the shortfalls at professional level, it can be used at the base level to strengthen the foundation and keep the game alive. "I hope the money can be used in all the areas where it is really needed. There are so many different areas that are going to be affected – grassroots, youth coaching and disability sports.

"I know the players are very strong on wanting that money to help that grassroots' structure and pathway because we need to bring people into the game and make sure that is very strong," he added.

"It's a very special shirt but I think it takes on extra meaning with it being able to hopefully go to the emergency cause. I probably took it [the shirt] off about 7am the next morning. They were great times ... headed back to the hotel bar with everyone still in full kit. It's seen it all, that shirt.

"I think £65,000 is an amazing amount of money and, having spoken to the guys at the hospitals, I know what that can buy them. That's an ECMO (extra corporeal membrane oxygenation) machine. That machine is vital not just for Covid-19 patients but all heart and lung patients."

John Stephenson


* The email will not be published on the website.