£8k Olympic Games torch to light up auction

Cyclist Mark Beaumont carries the Olympic torch across the Forth Road Bridge. Picture: Jane Barlow
Cyclist Mark Beaumont carries the Olympic torch across the Forth Road Bridge. Picture: Jane Barlow
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AN Olympic torchbearer who took part in the Edinburgh relay is hoping to sell the item and his official uniform for £8000.

The seller, who wishes to remain anonymous, has agreed to donate partial proceeds from the auction to the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice in Glasgow.

Shapes auction house in Sighthill, which is holding viewings of the items tomorrow and Friday, has said it expects the memorabilia to raise between £6000 and £8000 when it is auctioned on Saturday.

Roughly 8000 people took part in the 70-day Olympic torch relay. Those who won their places through sponsors were given their torches for free, while others were asked to pay £215 if they wished to keep the metre-long torch, which cost £495 to make.

When the first torches began appearing on auction site eBay in May, some bearers were criticised for using the symbol for their own financial gain, while those donating proceeds from sales to charity met a warmer response.

At first, torches were reported to be selling for £7000. Sophia Cowburn, of Cornwall, who was auctioning her torch to raise money for the charity Invictus Trust, was revealed to be the victim of a hoax after it was reported she had received a winning bid of £150,400.

A recent check on eBay showed the current highest asking price for a torch to be £4900. The torch in question was also reportedly signed by David Beckham.

Multiple sclerosis sufferer Sally Hyder, who was nominated for her work promoting Canine Partners, carried the torch from the Royal Mile to the Scottish Parliament. When asked by the News about her plans for her torch, she said she “couldn’t bear to auction it”, adding: “I am still going to use it for different fundraising elements with Canine Partners. I think there is a lot we can do by organising photo opportunities.”

James Watt, who was nominated for his work for military charities and carried the torch between Bruntsfield and Tollcross, said he was also keeping his, adding: “I see people are selling them online for a couple of thousand, but unless someone offered me a life-changing amount of money I’ll be passing it on to my kids.”

Meanwhile, retailers have reported other forms of Olympic merchandise to be selling well in the Capital.

Barry Blamire, managing director of John Lewis Edinburgh, revealed that the store is currently one of the top 
London 2012 shops in the UK, adding: “After the opening ceremony on Friday, we had a very busy weekend in store.

“The London 2012 official clothing has been particularly popular. Sales of mascots, collectable coins and Team GB jelly wristbands have taken off.”

Mark Mitchell, a sales assistant with Run 4 It in Lothian Road, said: “We have been selling the replica kits and T-shirts and I think there’s only one left. A lot of people have been asking for the wristbands or headbands as well.”