Golden boots: Sexton's drop-goal footwear raises €15,500 for Anna (8)
Saving the day has been a habit for Johnny Sexton during his rugby career - and last night the boots he wore kicking one of his most famous drop goals went up for auction to help a sick schoolgirl get treatment.
The recently crowned World Player of the Year broke French hearts in Paris in February when he kicked a 45-metre drop goal - known as 'Le Drop' - after the buzzer to give Ireland victory in the Six Nations clash. The boots he was wearing went under the hammer in Co Laois last night and sold for a phenomenal €15,500.
Anna Browne (8), from Mallow, Co Cork, has cerebral palsy and needs specialised treatment for the illness. She was diagnosed with diplegia cerebral palsy last year. The condition severely inhibits movement in her limbs and Anna has to wear support splints for 10 hours each day and is put into night-time casts.
Phillip Sheppard, of Sheppard's Irish Auction House, said they had received interest from across the world.
Speaking to the Irish Independent last night, Anna's mum Evelyn said that the entire campaign had raised €25,000 after a mystery donor gave €10,000 but did not take the boots in the end.
Irish Independent columnist Billy Keane asked Sexton to auction the boots after he had written a piece about Anna back in April.
And within less than a week, he told Evelyn there was an offer of €10,000. "She [the donor] wanted to give the €10,000, stay anonymous but still allow them to go for auction. If the boots were offered for more than €10,000 then we could keep her €10,000 and take whatever, and if it didn't she could keep the boots - so we got that woman's €10,000."
Following an operation in the USA, Anna must undergo intense physiotherapy - and Evelyn thanked everyone for their help.