JOS BUTTLER’S status as an England World Cup winner had already assured his place in the history books but the shirt he wore at the decisive moment last summer could soon secure a more immediate legacy: helping save lives threatened by coronavirus.
Buttler was the man whose run-out of New Zealand’s Martin Guptill secured the trophy at Lord’s and he made a remarkable gesture last week when he revealed his jersey would be auctioned on eBay on behalf of the Royal Brompton Hospital.
Bids are due to close just before 7.30pm tonight and offers are already in excess of £65,000. That money will effectively enable the purchase of a high-tech life-support machine, which is on the frontline of the country’s pandemic response.
‘I think £65,000 is an amazing amount of money and, having spoken to the guys at the hospitals, I know what that can buy them. That’s an ECMO (extra corporeal membrane oxygenation) machine,’ he said. ‘That machine is vital not just for Covid-19 patients but all heart and lung patients. It’s a very special shirt to me but I think it takes on extra meaning now.’
Buttler explained that an aunt of his wife Louise worked as the hospital’s head of paediatrics and said: ‘When this outbreak started, we were just speaking to her about what it’s like and is there anything we could do to help?
‘She said there was a donation we could make on her page, which I did and a few of the other England players did. She also told us about an emergency appeal the hospital had started.
‘They were looking to raise £100,000 to buy emergency equipment and I said we could auction my World Cup shirt.’