London 2012 Opening Ceremony speedboat driven by David Beckham to be auctioned

The Bladerunner vessel contained the Olympic flame carried by footballer Jade Bailey to the London 2012 Olympic Park

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The Independent Culture

A suited and booted David Beckham driving a speedboat down the Thames with the Olympic flame at its helm was one of the defining images of the London 2012 Games.

Now the Bladerunner BR RIB 35 speedboat so expertly driven by Britain’s most famous footballer during the Olympic Opening ceremony is being auctioned.

It is the highlight of the Bonhams auction at Mercedes-Benz Brooklands on 3 December.

Having played such a pivotal role in the Olympics Opening Ceremony directed by Danny Boyle the vessel is expected to fetch up to £250,000.

The “ultimate souvenir” comes complete with the smoke-emitting rockets and high-pressure waterjet bar that made it so iconic as it sped on the water towards Tower Bridge.

Tim Schofield, Director of Bonhams UK Motor Car department, said: “After a fantastic summer of British sporting success, Bonhams is proud to offer for sale the ultimate souvenir from the Olympic opening ceremony – what has been dubbed ‘the greatest show on earth’.”

Footballer Jade Bailey accompanied Beckham on the boat, clutching the torch.

The opening ceremony was watched by an estimated 900 million people around the world.