Sky Bet, the EFL title sponsor, have raised £86,924 for the UK’s largest Armed Forces charity, The Royal British Legion, in last year’s Poppy Shirt Auction, bringing the total amount raised over three seasons to more than £310,000.
Signed match-worn Poppy shirts from Sky Bet Championship fixtures across 18-20th November 2016 were auctioned on Sky Bet’s eBay page, along with ten limited-edition match-balls emblazoned with the emblematic Poppy logo.
A total of 673 items went under the hammer, raising an average of £131 per item.
The highest one off item was Fernando Forestieri’s signed shirt, worn in the 1-1 draw with Fulham on 19th November, which raised £561.82.
The teams whose shirts raised the most money were Sheffield Wednesday (£7,237.54), Brighton & Hove Albion (£5874.38) and Fulham (£4924.80).
Meanwhile, ten limited edition footballs used in Championship games across the period 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.
25-year-old 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, along with Daniel Sales from Sky Bet, at the 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.”