Sexton’s winning drop-goal boots raise €15,500 for charity
All proceeds go to the medical treatment of eight-year-old Anna Browne from Mallow
Ireland’s Johnny Sexton kicks the winning drop goal during the opening 2018 Six Nations match against France in Paris. Photograph:James Crombie/Inpho
A pair of rugby boots worn by newly-crowned World Rugby Player of the Year, Johnny Sexton to kick a 45m winning drop-goal in this year’s Six Nations match against France have been sold for €15,500 during an auction for charity.
The boots worn by Sexton as he scored the last minute winning drop goal against France in February were the final item to come under the hammer in Sheppard’s final sale of 2018 in Durrow, Co Laois yesterday.
Lot 1267 was auctioned with the proceeds, including the auctioneer’s fees, going towards the medical treatment of eight-year-old Anna Browne from Mallow, Co Cork.
In 2017, Anna was diagnosed with a significant brain injury, bilateral PVL of the brain, which has resulted in spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, a condition that severely inhibits movement in her lower limbs.
The sale raised €25,500 for the fund as the under-bidder - in a hugely generous gesture – also donated a further €10,000 on top of the hammer price of €15,500.
“The timing couldn’t have been better, given the announcement of the World Player of the Year award this week,” Philip Sheppard told The Irish Times.
“The boots have been bought by a philanthropist who wants them to tour schools in Ireland, using Johnny Sexton’s outstanding career as a catalyst to help get children interested in all kinds of sport.
He is an Irishman, an international businessman and a longstanding client of Sheppard’s.”
“I don’t know if this is significant,” he added, “but the boots arrived to us in a Dunnes Stores bag.
Several Chinese pieces which also sold for big prices have also some in Dunnes Stores bags, so it looks as if they’re our lucky bags.”
There was a buzz in the Durrow auction rooms as auctioneer Michael Sheppard conducted the bidding, acknowledging a range of pre-sale bids, some of which were as modest – or as outlandishly optimistic – as a fiver.
However, the action kicked off with a bid of €10,000, and proceeded from there to the final figure of €15,500.
During that match Ireland trailed France by 13-12 despite having been the better team.
Ireland went through 16 phases for a net gain of about five metres when, on 82 minutes and 37 seconds, Murray passes to Sexton 45 metres out.
Sexton launches a win-or-bust drop goal, and raises his hands into the air as the ball crosses the bar and bisects the posts in a moment of pure drama.
It was the first match of the Six Nations and the win set Ireland on course for the title.
Sexton gave the jersey he wore during the match to the children of former Munster coach Antony Foley.