Olympic silver medallist Kenneth Egan had the last laugh this week as he handed over his beloved stonewashed denim jacket - in front of crowd of denim jacket devotees - to Foley’s Antiques in Naas for a staggering €5,000 donation to Temple Street Children’s University Hospital.
Derek Carruthers, who owns Foley’s Antiques, has been a big Temple Street supporter over the years, taking part in various challenges, including Route 66.
The jacket, which made its first public appearance when the sports star appeared as a commentator on the RTE panel for Paddy Barnes, took on a life of its own across Twitter and Facebook in recent weeks, leading to ‘the Kenny Egan jacket appreciation page’ being set up – who knew a jacket could speak? The unofficial page, which now has in excess of 10,000 likes, laments its life as a jacket, its feelings about being auctioned, and its joy at raising €5,000 for Temple Street.
The handover, which took place in Foley’s Antiques showroom in Naas, was aired live on RTE 1’s Derek Mooney Show. Broadcaster Brenda Donohue, who was there on the day to record the handover, said she hadn’t witnessed such controversy since Angelina’s left leg stole the show at the Oscars. And not one to let us down in the style stakes himself, Kenneth turned up on the day sporting a pair of cut off denims shorts which caused quite a stir! One latecomer even admitted to turning off the motorway so he could see the outfit for himself!
Speaking about the novel fundraising initiative, Roisin O’Connor, Fundraising Manager for Temple Street Children’s University said: “We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Kenneth for coming up with the idea to auction his distinctive jacket for the hospital - €5,000 is a fantastic result. He has been hugely supportive throughout, encouraging the bidding and giving of his time promoting his endeavours. We would also like to thank all our supporters, especially Foley’s in Naas for their winning bid and Image Depot, Skerries, for offering to frame the jacket free of charge”.