Cup Captain's Shirt for Cancer Charity

Article excerpt

England rugby captain Martin Johnson is giving away a treasured World Cup shirt to raise cash to fight a life-threatening condition suffered by his wife.

The star is putting the signed shirt, which he wore in the team's quarter-final victory over Wales, up for auction in aid of a charity which funds research into pre-eclampsia. His wife Kay was struck by the potentially fatal condition when she was pregnant with daughter Molly, who was born two weeks prematurely as a result.

Johnson could fit the tiny baby into one of his hands when she was born in March this year.

The shirt is to be sold to raise money for SPARKS (SPort Aiding medical Research for KidS) at the charity's winter ball. Johnson told how his support for the charity's work was inspired in part by his wife's ordeal.

'Kay herself was born much more prematurely than Molly because her own mother suffered from pre-eclampsia which can be a hereditary condition,' he said.

'It's another reason why I'm such a strong supporter of SPARKS and the pioneering research it carries out into conditions like pre-eclampsia and all the dangers associated with premature birth. …