Roger parts with cup final shirt

IT has been called the most sought after shirt in East Anglia, a piece of Ipswich Town history from the club's greatest days which is unlikely to ever go up for grabs again.

IT has been called the most sought after shirt in East Anglia, a piece of Ipswich Town history from the club's greatest days which is unlikely to ever go up for grabs again.

And last night Town legend Roger Osborne handed over the shirt he was wearing when he won the FA Cup in 1978 to a lifelong fan who paid more than £5,000 to make sure it was his.

Andrew 'Billy' Hill was all smiles as he took delivery of the historic shirt, which was presented to him by Mr Osborne at Portman Road last night.

Mr Hill, who comes from Brockley, near Bury St Edmunds, forked out £5,100 to secure the shirt after a month-long auction to raise cash for breast cancer charity Breakthrough.


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The 29-year-old, who had flown over specially from his home in Frankfurt, told the EADT that the shirt was worth every penny.

"It feels absolutely fantastic to have the shirt," he added. "It looks awesome and I'm really pleased that I've got it."

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Mr Hill attended last night's Breakthrough event with his proud parents Victor and Valerie - who got to meet Shefki Kuqi, her favourite town player - and brother Jay.

"I didn't mind paying that much money because it was all for charity," he said. "It was great to meet Roger as well, who is a really nice guy.

"I was so surprised that the shirt was up for sale - the possibility of owning it was just too much to pass up so I put in the maximum bid I was prepared to pay and kept my fingers crossed.

"I couldn't believe it when I found out that I had got it."

Mr Osborne, 53, also signed a souvenir programme from the famous 1-0 win over Arsenal, which was framed with the winning shirt.

He said: "I never thought it would make that much money so it was a very nice surprise - I think it's excellent.

"It was nice that the shirt did hang in the boardroom at the club to remind people of the cup final, but the fact is that it will do more good for the charity than it did there.

"All the money will go to a good cause, which is the whole idea. Everyone knows somebody who has suffered with cancer or been affected by it and this charity really seem to be making a breakthrough."

Linda Grave, a committee member for Breakthrough Suffolk, said she hoped last night's event would raise up to £50,000 for the charity.

She also thanked sponsors HR Irwin and JVC, and revealed that the annual BTexact Ball - this year to be held on July 9 - will raise more money for Breakthrough.

But she reserved her biggest thanks for Mr Osborne, adding: "That shirt must have been one of the most precious things he and his family owned.

"It is just unbelievably special that he should auction it for us - it is the kindest, most generous thing that anyone could possibly do.

"Raising £5,100 was beyond our wildest dreams."

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