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Paul McCartney's gift aids Manchester victims' fund

By Paul Ward

A Beatles box set gifted by Sir Paul McCartney for two families affected by the Manchester Arena attack has raised more than £3,300 at auction.

Eilidh MacLeod (14) died while her friend Laura MacIntyre (15) was seriously injured in the attack at the Ariana Grande concert on May 22.

Soon after the tragedy Sir Paul donated a special Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band six-disc Super Deluxe (50th Anniversary Edition) box set which was auctioned at Bonhams in London yesterday.

The musician has agreed to personally dedicate and personalise the box set of the Beatles album to the successful bidder and his gesture has been described as "amazing and brilliant" by the girls' parents.

It sold for £2,700 but the auctioneers waived the commission fee and donated the buyer's premium, taking the total raised to £3,375.

The auction took place in the run-up to the 40th anniversary of one of Sir Paul's Wings songs Mull of Kintyre reaching number one at Christmas in 1977.

Eilidh, from Barra in the Outer Hebrides in Scotland, was one of 22 people who died in the bombing at Manchester Arena.

Her parents Roddy and Marion MacLeod said: "We are extremely grateful for Sir Paul's kind gesture.

"Eilidh was a keen piper and Mull Of Kintyre is such an iconic song for the pipes - so this donation from Sir Paul is especially poignant and fitting.

"People's generosity has helped us greatly in the aftermath of our loss and we can't thank them enough."

Laura has returned to the island's Castlebay Community School after spending many weeks in hospital being treated for serious injuries.

Her father Michael MacIntyre said: "This is an amazing and brilliant gesture by Paul McCartney in donating this personalised Sgt Pepper album for auction to help Laura's recovery and her future.

"We are grateful to Sir Paul and the many others who have helped financially to what has been an unbelievably difficult situation that we found ourselves thrust into.

"This kindness will help us move on in the future and to ensure Laura lives as full a life as possible after the terrible events in Manchester."

A spokesman for Sir Paul said he was glad to help.

The box set was part of the Entertainment Memorabilia sale and featured as the last lot in a section devoted to Beatles memorabilia.

Donald Manford, who is Eilidh's great-uncle, also praised the gesture.

"People's generosity of spirit continues to be awe-inspiring and sustains the families through the difficult times," he said.

"The families of Laura and Eilidh in their turn inspire a warmth and affection that is a tribute to us all.

"We also can't thank Bonhams and Sir Paul enough for what they have done."

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