Rugby star Johnny Sexton is raffling off the boots he wore on his historic 100th cap in Ireland’s 60-5 win over Japan to raise money for charity.
Cash raised by the draw for the Ireland captain's size 9.5 Adidas Predator boots will go to Debra Ireland.
The organisation helps people living with the skin disease epidermolysis bullosa (EB) and their families, as well as funding research to find treatments and a cure for the condition.
The skin of people with EB blisters at the slightest touch, which means painful bandaging must be applied at least every 48 hours – and sometimes daily.
“My 100th cap was obviously a special day for me and my family and I really want to give something back for all the success and good fortune that I have had in making it this far playing for Ireland,” Sexton said.
“The boots have the initials of my wife Laura, and children Luca, Amy and Sophie on them.
“I have been working with Debra Ireland for some years now and I have been inspired by the bravery of those who live with the condition, such as Emma Fogarty and Claudia Scanlon.
“The researchers are on the cusp of major advances which will have life-changing consequences for people with EB in the coming years, so it’s very important that Debra Ireland continues to fund that research.”
The charity welcomed the gesture by Sexton, who has been a Debra ambassador for more than a decade.
“We’re delighted that Johnny has decided to use this big moment in his amazing career to raise money for Debra Ireland,” said chief executive Jimmy Fearon.
Leinster star Sexton is only the seventh player to notch up 100 appearances for Ireland and capped the November 6 milestone in style, scoring one of Ireland’s nine tries and kicking 11 points at the Aviva Stadium.
The raffle opened on Monday and will run until Wednesday, December 22, with the winner announced the following day. Tickets cost €5.
Visit debraireland.org or https://www.idonate.ie/raffle/JohnnysBoots