football fan donates auction money from prized guitar

20 September 2016
The bass player of a popular East London band has donated the money he raised by auctioning off one of his guitars to a Little Havens Hospice.

Vincent Riordan, 58, from Wingrave Crescent in Brentwood, plays in the Cockney Rebels. On 10th May the band played to 35,000 people at the final West Ham FC match at Upton Park before the club moved to their new venue at the Olympic Stadium. On the evening Vincent auctioned off the Dean bass guitar and it went to top bidder Tony Lyons for £1,000. Vincent then decided to donate the money straight to Little Havens Hospice, which cares for seriously ill babies, children and teenagers, across Essex.

Vincent said,
“It was a real honour to be able to play my bass guitar with my band, Cockney Rebels, at the last ever West Ham United game at the Boleyn Ground. I couldn’t think of a better way to mark the occasion than by auctioning my guitar to help raise some much needed funds for Little Havens. I know they do great work caring for families across Essex and having visited in person I was both amazed and inspired by what I discovered. It’s such a caring and happy place and the facilities they have for the children are fantastic! I’m only too pleased to do my bit to help and I want to encourage others to do their bit too by donating or organizing a fundraising event in aid of the hospice so they can continue their great work.”     

On Wednesday 7th September Vincent met Tony’s son, Billy, at Little Havens to present him with the guitar and make the donation to Little Havens Community Fundraiser, Peter Hall.

Peter said,
“It must have been a great honour for Vincent and the Cockney Rebels to play at the last match at Upton Park, so to auction off his guitar that he played on - and in the West Ham colours - and donate the money to charity was incredibly generous.

“Thanks to him and supporters like him, we are able to care for children and their families when they need us most. Both at our hospice and in the community, providing respite, symptom management and end of life care. Thanks to Vincent, we can continue ‘Making every day count’ to seriously ill children across Essex.”

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