A football signed by the Leicester City squad has been sold by auction in memory of Cloughie. The ball, in a special presentation case, fetched more than £100 as part of efforts to raise money for a statue of the Master Manager.
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Proceeds from the ten-day auction on eBay, which started at 0600 on Friday 24th February, 2006, will go to the Brian Clough Statue Fund, which aims to raise £60,000 for a statue of Cloughie in a prominent location in Nottingham city centre.
The ball has been donated to the fund by the Toyota dealership Farmer and Carlisle of Leicester and Loughborough, who were match ball sponsors at the Walkers Stadium earlier this season. It was presented to the company by the former Everton goalkeeper Neville Southall after the match against Crewe. The case features the inscription 'Leicester City v Crewe Alexandra, Matchball Sponsor, Season 2005/06'.
The chairman of the statue fund, Paul Ellis, said he was very grateful for the donation of the ball. "It's a marvellous gesture by Farmer and Carlisle to help a very worthwhile cause," he said. "Brian Clough touched the hearts of football fans not only throughout the East Midlands but around the world. A poll conducted over a year ago and involving the East Midlands Development Agency concluded that Cloughie had been the most influential person in the region. We now hope there'll be a lasting tribute."
The auction of the ball comes as Leicester hosts the start of a nationwide tour for the Cloughie tribute play, 'Old Big 'Ead in the Spirit of the Man'. The play received critical acclaim at its world premiere at the Nottingham Playhouse last year. The tour begins on Wednesday March 1st at the Leicester Haymarket Theatre and the production runs there until March 11th. The play then visits a further eight venues before returning to the Nottingham Playhouse where the first night of the return on May 16th will be a gala performance to raise money for the statue fund.
There's information about the auction of a special Cloughie banner HERE.