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[SINGAPORE] A pair of David Beckham's football boots, signed by the retired star himself, is the centrepiece of an ongoing auction to raise funds for two local charities.
The former England national team captain was in town on Saturday to donate the pair of bright pink boots, which bear the names of his four children - sons Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz and daughter Harper.
The boots are among 22 items going under the hammer for an auction organised as part of Marina Bay Sands' (MBS) Sands for Singapore festival.
This is the second time that the 39-year-old, who has played for clubs such as Manchester United and Real Madrid, has donated a personal item for the integrated resort's corporate social responsibility programme.
Last year, he contributed an autographed jersey of his final club, Paris Saint-Germain of France, for the auction.
"One of the things I'm very passionate about is charity," he said during a football clinic with 90 young athletes at MBS. "It gives me a lot of happiness. (These boots) are special because it has my family's names; they are my support."
The auction proceeds will go to The Business Times Budding Artists Fund - which helps underprivileged children aged five to 19 develop their talents in music, dance, theatre and the visual arts - and The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, which gives a monthly stipend to students from low-income homes to help them with school-related expenses.
Each of the 22 auction items has a minimum bid price. The Beckham boots, for instance, start at $1,250.
Among the other items are a set of boxing gloves signed by Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios, two caps signed by the main cast and director of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 movie, and a Manchester United jersey signed by ex-player Rio Ferdinand.
Seven of these items will be auctioned off at the BT Dream Ball on Aug 1, a dinner event that will feature performances by international ballroom dancing champions.
All in, MBS hopes the funds raised from the auction and other events will surpass the $3.6 million raised from its inaugural festival last year.
The money will benefit various designated charities including the Singapore Association for the Deaf, Art Outreach Singapore and the Association for Persons with Special Needs.
Those keen to take part in the auction, which runs until Aug 1, can visit bit.ly/sandsforsingapore.
The festival itself, an annual charity event, will be held from Aug 1-3.