Avid Man Utd fan auctions off signed shirt for CAFOD

Sophie Constable, a parishioner from Holy Family, Digswell, has generously auctioned off a Manchester United shirt signed by 16 of the players to raise money for CAFOD.  The winning bid was a fantastic amount of £500, which will be used to support communities in need in Ethiopia.   


Zlatan Ibrahimovic samples Sophie’s Christmas Puttini bonbons

On 26th February, the club lifted the English Football League cup after a 3-2 win over Southampton; all but one of the starting eleven signed the shirt, including match scorers Ibrahimovic and Lingard. 

As a member of United’s Disabled Supporters’ Association (MUDSA), Sophie, 26, was lucky enough to attend MUDSA’s Christmas Party at Old Trafford and meet her heroes. 

The passionate supporter was far from start struck, however.  Having bought a shirt with her own savings, Sophie encouraged all players present to sign it, offering them compensation in the form of her homemade Christmas Puttini bonbons; Anthony Martial declared that they were ‘delicieux’! 

Describing her experience meeting the players, Sophie said:

“It was definitely exciting, I was really happy.  I loved meeting all of them.  My favourite is Paul Pogba and I also like Zlatan Ibrahimovic.”


Sophie with her Christmas wishes from Paul Pogba

Instead of keeping the shirt to herself, Sophie decided to auction it off to raise money for a community in Ethiopia that her parish supports through CAFOD’s Connect2:Ethiopia scheme. 

The community of Sebeya, in the very north of the country, is dry and arid, meaning that the area has suffered greatly from the current drought – the worst Ethiopia has experienced in decades.  CAFOD works in the area with partner Adigrat Diocese Catholic Secretariat (ADCS), running schemes that focus on soil and water conservation and irrigation projects.  Sophie’s auction comes at a time when the community of Sebeya is in great need of assistance, making her generosity especially appreciated.

Sophie said: “I wanted to do this because it’s about putting other people before yourself and because I love Africa so much.”

Abba Solomon Beyene, parish priest of Sebeya’s Holy Trinity Church thanked Sophie and others who also fundraise for his community, saying: “Your generosity is positively changing the lives of the people in my community.”

This is not the first time that Sophie has shown her solidarity with those in need overseas.  Through raffles and auctions she has raised money for a variety of appeals, including that following the Asian tsunami.  She has also been an altar server at her parish in Digswell, for 18 years and as such is keenly aware of all the work that Holy Family does for CAFOD.   


Wayne Rooney and Sophie

We are very grateful for Sophie’s support in buying and auctioning the shirt, to the very generous bid from Phil McEleney and to the Holy Family CAFOD group for your ongoing support – thank you, from all of us here at CAFOD Westminster!

For groups who would like to find out more about CAFOD’s Connect2 scheme, please visit http://cafod.org.uk/Connect2  

 For groups who would like to find out more about CAFOD’s work in Ethiopia or would like to donate to our Ethiopia Food Crisis appeal please visit http://cafod.org.uk/Ethiopia  

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