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Back of the net for Stowmarket artist whose football-inspired paintings raised £12,000 for charity

PUBLISHED: 14:30 16 May 2018 | UPDATED: 16:17 16 May 2018

Louise with husband Chris, and her original painting of Rúben Neves. Picture: LIBBY COBBOLD

Louise with husband Chris, and her original painting of Rúben Neves. Picture: LIBBY COBBOLD

LIBBY COBBOLD

A woman from Stowmarket has raised over £12,000 for charity after auctioning paintings of her husband’s beloved football team.

Louise Cobbold adding the finishing touches to her painting of Wolves head coach Nuno. Picture: CHRIS COBBOLDLouise Cobbold adding the finishing touches to her painting of Wolves head coach Nuno. Picture: CHRIS COBBOLD

Former art teacher Louise Cobbold, 38, had no idea that her work would be so popular when she first decided to paint an image of her husband Chris’ favourite Wolverhampton Wanderers player, Rúben Neves, as a gift.

It was when Mr Cobbold shared the image on social media that the compliments came pouring in, prompting his wife to pick up her paintbrush for a second time.

“He had it out on social media and the reaction was so positive,” Mrs Cobbold said. “The next day it had thousands of comments, so we decided to do something with it.”

Inspired by Wolves’ goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme, who was diagnosed with acute leukaemia in July 2017, Mrs Cobbold decided to auction her work for the charity Cure Leukaemia – which helps to bring pioneering drug and transplant treatments to blood cancer patients.

Having partnered up with club photographer Sam Bagnall, she went on to create a series of 12 paintings – each designed to capture a key moment in Wolves’ recent history, which she sold at ‘The Great Big Art Auction’, held from April 19 to April 29.

Mrs Cobbold raised a huge £8,776 from the art sale, plus £3,881 from a raffle with her original painting of Rúben Neves as the prize. Two of the paintings sold for over £1,000, including one emotive scene of group celebration.

The mother-of-two said she was thrilled with the result: “As a family, we love getting behind causes. We feel incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to work together on a project that brings together two of our greatest passions, art for me and Wolves for Chris, whilst also giving us the chance to make a difference to the lives of others in the process.”

Mr Cobbold added: “I am immensely proud of Louise for her courage in stepping out into unfamiliar territory, where critics are unlikely to be gentle, and in my opinion producing her very best work to date in the process. Louise and I are also very grateful to Andy Stewart for his incredible commitment to this project as well as for the branding/design expertise he has brought to our Sports Personalities team. Andy may have been a background figure over these last couple of months, but his contribution is without doubt at the heart of the thousands of pounds raised.”

Limited edition prints of the paintings are still available to purchase through Mrs Cobbold’s website, with 10% of all profits going to Cure Leukaemia.

Cure Leukaemia’s Chief Executive James McLaughlin said, “Louise and Chris have driven a very unique and innovative fundraising idea in support of Carl and Cure Leukaemia and thanks to the ongoing support of the Wolves family it has raised a fantastic amount for the charity. The paintings are briliant and we are very grateful to Louise, Chris, Wolves and Sam Bagnall for making this possible. Every penny that has been raised will go towards directly helping patients, like Carl, who are battling blood cancer in the UK.”

To donate to Carl Ikeme’s Just Giving page (in support of Cure Leukaemia), go to: www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/cureleukaemia/ikeme.

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