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Hopes pinned on golfing gift

It is a rare piece of sporting history which would take pride of place in any fan's collection.

So an Edinburgh charity was stunned when golfing legend Darren Clarke gifted them one of the 18 pin flags used at this year's Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.

Clarke picked it up as a memento of Europe's epic win over the United States and after hearing about the work of the Daisy Chain Trust from one of its supporters, the Northern Irish golfer - and vice-captain of the victorious European side - reckoned he had the perfect way to help.

He had the pin flag signed by every member of the European team, who clinched the trophy in dramatic fashion by a single point in the last game of the last day of the tournament.

And now the charity is hoping the flag could raise £10,000 for the charity, which is inviting bids for an auction.

DCT founder Lady Jill Kirkwood said: "We are incredibly grateful to Darren Clarke for donating this absolute gem to the Trust.

"This is an extremely kind gesture which will help us raise a hopefully large sum of money which we will put towards local children's projects.

"This is a great piece of sport memorabilia and one that we believe will generate a lot of interest amongst golf enthusiasts.

"We are putting out the word about the flag through our own network to see if a private buyer is prepared to offer us a decent sum. We are also considering the option of putting the flag up for public auction."

A sports memorabilia expert said the fact that entire team had signed the pin flag, and the fact that it was a genuine flag used in the tournament, would help add to its value. Usually similar signed pin-flags for sale on auction sites such as eBay were replicas, rather than those used in the tournament.

And he added that it would almost certainly appreciate in value over the years.

The Daisy Chain Trust was established in 2003 to provide grants to organisations helping children in the Edinburgh, Lothians and Borders area.

Run entirely by volunteers, it promotes childrens welfare, education and medical care, and has distributed more than £200,000 to local projects, including the Broomhall Playgroup, Kaimes Special Needs School, and Down's Syndrome Scotland.

Daisy Chain Trust

Source: Gareth Edwards,
Evening News, Monday, 15th November, 2010