A HOST of top celebrities have given their backing to a charity auction to help children in West Cumbria. Big names to have donated items include Kylie Minogue, Wayne Rooney, Harrison Ford and Kelly Brook.

One of the star items is a T-shirt worn on stage by rock legend Ozzy Osbourne during his USA tours 28 years ago. The idea for the auction was sparked by Egremont-born singer/songwriter Francis Dunnery.

Three years ago he launched the Charlie and Kathleen Dunnery Children’s Fund, in memory of his parents, to help local youngsters. The star, who shot to fame as the leader of It Bites, is still writing and touring.

But he is taking time out of his busy schedule to return to his home town this weekend to kick-start the fund-raising. This year, it will be Bookwell School, Egremont, that benefits from the cash.

The auction, pop quiz and jamming session with Francis take place on Friday at the town’s Ship Launch pub, from 8.30pm. Fundraisers hope to raise around £4,000.

Organiser Mark Andrews has spent months canvassing celebrities and has been overwhelmed by the response from big-name sports, TV and pop stars. Football legends Denis Law, Bobby Charlton, Kevin Keegan and Tom Finney have all sent signed photographs, as have modern day stars Steven Gerrard, Christiano Ronaldo and Ruud Van Nistelrooy.

There are nearly 50 signed celebrity photos on the list, featuring everyone from the Sugerbabes to Status Quo.

Other items up for grabs include T-shirts, posters, signed autobiographies, CDS, DVDs, a Liverpool family museum and ground tour and a Match of the day script signed by Gary Lineker.

In previous years, the weekend has raised thousands of pounds for the West Cumberland Hospital’s Children’s Ward and last year made £4,000 for St Bridget’s RC School in Egremont.

After the Friday night event, golf fans will also have a chance to win two return tickets to New York by taking part in a charity tournament. It will be held on Saturday morning at St Bees Golf Club. Then in October, the fund-raising will be finalised with a sponsored walk.

Published July 13, 2005
By Pamela McGowan
Published in News & Star

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