Olympic torchbearers cash in by selling torches on eBay

 

Olympic torchbearers have cashed in on their once-in-a-lifetime privilege by selling their torches on eBay.

Before the first day of the relay was completed, the gold torches appeared on the online auction site.

The torches have fetched more than £150,000.

One torch used on Saturday is currently attracting bids of more than £30,000.

The seller lists the item as: “An amazing sporting souvenir, be one of the first to have one!”

Some torchbearers have pledged to donate the proceeds from the sale to charity.

One, who will be carrying the Olympic Flame on July 11, wrote: “I was chosen to be a torch bearer because of the money I've raised for various charities, many of them who have helped my son who has cerebral palsy.”

Sellers have also auctioned off the uniform they wore while carrying the flame.

The London 2012 torch relay entered its third day today.

Communities stretching from Exeter to Taunton will see dozens of unsung and hard-working individuals get their moment in the spotlight.

They will carry the Olympic Flame alongside some of Britain's top sport stars.

Ashes-winning cricketer Marcus Trescothick and Olympic gold medal-winning triple jumper Jonathan Edwards are among more than 100 torchbearers who will get to hold the flame.

The other torchbearers range in age from children from Minehead School to 91-year-old Arthur Gilbert.

Mr Gilbert will be one of the oldest of the 8,000 torchbearers who will carry the Olympic Flame on the way to the July 27 opening ceremony.

The nonagenarian, from Burnham on Sea, will carry the flame through Minehead.

His nomination said he received an MBE in 2008 to recognise 35 years of charity work.

Mr Gilbert ran his first triathlon at the age of 68 and completed his most recent race in June last year in 2 hours 45 minutes 43 seconds.

“Arthur lost his son and his wife to cancer recently, looking after both of them at home and still keeping his training going,” his nominator said.

“He is a shining example to all the young people who use the local sports facilities and has a large following of supporters.”

Milkman James Winter, 40, from Chard, will also carry the torch in Minehead.

His nominator said: “The community he delivers the milk in rely on him to be there in all weathers.

“Even in the deepest snow he manages to deliver extra milk and make sure the elderly people on his round are OK and have enough suppliers.

“He goes out of his way to call on people to check they are OK on a weekly basis.”

Mr Winter has also completed the London marathon three times for charity.

Organisers will be hoping for a repeat of the scenes on the first two days of the relay when excited people packed the streets of Cornwall and Devon to catch a glimpse of the torch.

Yesterday began at the Plymouth Life Centre with the torch in the hands of 18-year-old Jordan Anderton.

Inspirational former Royal Marine Mark Ormrod, who lost an arm and two legs in a bomb blast in Afghanistan, was a torchbearer in Plymouth.

The relay travelled from Plymouth, through Totnes, Paignton and Torquay on the Devon south coast, before finishing in Exeter for an evening celebration.

More than 8,500 people filled Exeter Cathedral Gardens to watch a live show of music and dance.

The convoy travelling with the flame is made up of 14 core vehicles, including a pilot car, torchbearer drop-off and pick-up shuttles. There are also sponsors, media and security vehicles plus a command car.

The lead convoy provides some entertainment for the crowds. The torchbearer follows about five to seven minutes later.

A crew of approximately 350 people are set to be working on each day of the 70-day relay.

The relay also relies on the work of staff from London 2012, the Metropolitan Police Torch Security Team, the sponsors plus the host police forces and town halls.

Sarah Milner Simonds, from Burnham-on-Sea, has received a bid of more than £150,000 for her Olympic torch on eBay.

“It only occurred to me to do it on Saturday night,” she told BBC Breakfast.

“The sale closed last night at 10 o'clock and the final bid was £153,000.”

The torchbearer, who was nominated for her work as a community gardener for the People's Plot, said she put her torch up for sale to raise money for the project she represents.

But she said she was dismayed that people who objected to her decision had started sending her abusive emails.

“Obviously it has really upset people but I think that it's not something that is really me to keep my shiny trophy on a mantelpiece when it is obvious how much good one can do with the money that someone might be willing to pay for it.”

Ms Milner said she still needed to check if the £153,000 bid was genuine.

“It is an extraordinary amount of money, but of course when I realised that the first torch was on eBay and sold for over £3,000 I thought 'Oh my gosh, that is obscene, imagine what good you could do with £3,000'.”

Ms Milner will be carrying the flame through the village of Dunster this afternoon.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
Kellie Bright as Linda Carter and Danny Dyer as Mick Carter

EastEnders Christmas specials are known for their shouty, over-the-top soap drama but tonight the show has done itself proud thanks to Danny Dyer.

Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Sport
sport
Arts and Entertainment
Call The Midwife: Miranda Hart as Chummy
tvCall the Midwife Christmas Special
Sport
Laura Trott and Jason Kenny are preparing for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow
sport
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Bruce Forsyth with Tess Daly in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special
tvLouis Smith wins with 'Jingle Bells' quickstep on Strictly Come Dancing's Christmas Special
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there