In the footsteps of the famous

Fundraising/ shoe auction
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The Independent Online
TEETERING between Regency wardrobes and Louis XV chairs at Christie's auction house is a polystyrene stiletto shoe, 8ft high and bright pink. It is in storage for next month's celebrity shoe auction, when footwear worn by sports, stars, actors and musicians will go under the hammer.

Some 20 pairs of shoes belonging to figures such as Damon Hill, Bjorn Borg and Elton John have been collected by the charity Tommy's Campaign to raise money for research at St Thomas's Hospital, London, into premature births.

For the past two months, the celebrity footwear - including the shoes in which Nelson Mandela walked to freedom - has been touring shoe shops in Bristol, Glasgow and Belfast. Christie's hopes the shoes will raise thousands of pounds, with the giant pink stiletto used by the rock group Pink Floyd during their Division Bell tour last year fetching between £1,000 and £1,500 alone.

Among the lots are the football boots in which Gary Lineker scored his first goal in Japan, a pair of satin pointe shoes worn by ballerina Darcey Bussell and two horseshoes belonging to Desert Orchid. Nigel Mansell's suede racing boots, which he wore during his 1992 world championship, have been valued at £300 to £400, while Andre Agassi's tennis shoes, worn during his US Open victory last year and flown to Britain by Concorde, are listed at £400 to £600.

Patricia Shepperson of Tommy's Campaign said that shoes were still arriving. "Sally Gunnell gave some runners with bright yellow insoles and black glitter laces but they are tiny. She has feet like a child's. The smelliest were definitely Will Carling's matchplay boots. They were covered in mud and grass. We couldn't wait to get them to Christie's."