Steve Ovett donates shirt he wore to win gold at Moscow to Brighton and Hove mayor's charity appeal (From The Argus)
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Steve Ovett donates shirt he wore to win gold at Moscow to Brighton and Hove mayor's charity appeal
It is the treasured shirt an Olympic hero wore on his way to winning gold at the Moscow Games.
But, more than 20 years after his 800m success, Brighton-born runner Steve Ovett has handed the treasured item over to be auctioned off to support charities in his home city.
The middle distance runner promised a “significant” donation to Brighton and Hove mayor Bill Randall when he was made a Freeman of the City in July.
With Coun Randall having no clue what it might be, Ovett, who went to Varndean School and trained at Withdean Stadium, sent the vest from his home in Melbourne, Australia, with a letter saying: “Hope this fits the job”.
Coun Randall said: “When I met Steve in the summer he turned out to be all the things you would hope for in a hero and he promised to send me a significant item for auction.
“I had no idea how significant it would be. His generosity is overwhelming and is further testament to his love for this city.
“It is a fantastic Olympic postscript to an extraordinary sporting year.”
It is expected the vest, along with a signed photograph, will raise thousands of pounds for the mayor’s three selected charities – Allsorts, the Martlets Hospice and Brighton Women’s Centre.
Coun Randall said: “All three are hugely grateful for Steve’s kindness and the money raised from auctioning the shirt will help fund the very important work they do for Brighton and Hove, where Steve remains an inspiration for a new generation of athletes.
“Charlie Grice, an outstanding young middle distance runner from Brighton’s Phoenix Athletics Club names Steve as his inspiration.
“With this act of kindness Steve will inspire the whole city.”
Ovett, who also won a bronze medal in the 1500m at the Moscow Games, unveiled a statue of himself in Madeira Drive, Brighton, when he visited the city earlier this year.
It replaced one put up in Preston Park in 1997 that was cut downand stolen ten years later. The £50,000 cost of the statue was met by members of the Brighton and Hove business community.
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