Belfast Telegraph

Golfers to raise tankful of cash

Up for auction, bike with custom paint job of our heroes of fairways

By Lindsay Fergus

A motorbike fanatic is revving up support for a children’s cancer charity after custom-painting a machine in honour of Northern Ireland’s three golfing heroes.

Iain Baldwin, who is a big golf fan as well as an airbrush designer, came up with the idea of painting portraits of Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke on a motorbike.

The Co Antrim man pitched the idea to the Belfast Honda motorcycle dealership who agreed to donate a Honda Fury bike.

Planning to unveil the bike at this year’s Irish Open in June, the Ballycarry man painted the three portraits on to the vehicle.

He worked 16 hours a day for eight days to finish the artwork, before the motorbike was brought along to the event at Portrush Golf Club to be signed by the three world famous golfing stars.

“I had this amazing dream to paint a bike and raise an amazing amount of money for charity,” said Iain. “It has been an incredible journey ending up at Royal Portrush to have the three golfers signing the bike on Pro Am day.”

The bike alone is worth £10,000 and artwork of this nature, if commissioned, would cost £4,500.

Bidding in an online auction is currently under way and closes on November 29. The highest bid stands at £10,000 and Iain would love to get it as high as £60,000.

Proceeds will go to the CLIC Sargent charity which this week launched a Christmas Appeal with the Belfast Telegraph to boost its Homes From Home Appeal.

The aim of the Christmas Appeal is to raise £50,000 towards the overall £3.7m needed to build two respite centres. The centres will be built within walking distance of treatment centres at the Royal and the Cancer Centre at Belfast City Hospital.

They will offer a sanctuary to families close to where their child is undergoing treatment.

Iain explained the importance of supporting the appeal.

“It gives the parents of the children with leukaemia and cancer a home from home,” he said.

“It provides the parents with a base so they can be close to their children, 24 hours a day, while they are in hospital. “It's a fantastic appeal and one I would encourage Belfast Telegraph readers to support in anyway they can.”

Iain found out about the charity through boxer Barry McGuigan, who is also supporting Homes From Home.

“I got speaking to Barry and that inspired me,” he added.

“Normally I would hand over cash for charity and support them that way, but as I started up my own business I decided to give up my time by custom painting the motorbike.”

Visit the online auction at www.charitybuzz.com/support/clicsargent

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