Football raises £86k for the Legion

More than £310,000 has been raised in the three-season partnership with SkyBet.

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Sky Bet, the English Football League title sponsor, raised £86,924 for The Royal British Legion in last year’s Poppy Shirt Auction, bringing the total amount raised over three seasons to more than £310,000.

Clubs from the Sky Bet Championship donated their match-worn, signed shirts to an auction with fans bidding on their favourite players’ jerseys on eBay. More than 670 shirts were auctioned along with 10 limited-edition footballs featuring the iconic poppy logo.

The highest-bidding item was worn by Sheffield Wednesday's Fernando Forestieri in their 1-1 draw with Fulham, which made £561.82.

Shirts from Sheffield Wednesday made the most of any club, raising £7,237.54, closely followed by Brighton & Hove Albion (£5,874.38) and Fulham (£4924.80). Meanwhile, the limited edition footballs raised £1,191.

The money raised will be used by the Legion to support the vital welfare services it provides to the Armed Forces community, such as the Battle Back Centre in Lilleshall which helps wounded, injured and sick Service personnel to achieve their best possible recovery and either return to Service duty or to make a smooth transition to civilian life.

Bristol Rovers' central defender Tom Broadbent, who served in Afghanistan and only recently left the army at the beginning of this month to begin a career as a professional footballer, was on hand to present the proceeds of the auctions to the Legion at Bristol Rovers' Memorial Stadium.

Sky Bet spokesman Sandro Di Michele said: “After the third season of a really rewarding partnership between ourselves and the Legion, we continue to be surprised by the generosity that fans show when bidding and donating to this important cause. We’d like to thank everyone who placed a bid on any of the items that were sold and thank the clubs in the Sky Bet Championship for their participation.”

The Royal British Legion’s Chris Vernazza said: “The Royal British Legion is delighted to have Sky Bet’s ongoing support, which, along with the help of the generous public who bid on the shirts and balls, has raised over £310,000 in the last three years for the charity. The contribution is greatly appreciated and will assist the Legion in making a difference to the lives of Serving Armed Forces personnel, veterans, and their families, who are in need of our welfare services.”

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