12 March, 2015. 15:06
ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
FORMER PRIME MINISTER John Howard is auctioning off his vast collection of retro tracksuits to benefit charity.
The English Cricket Emergency Support Fund (ECESF) was founded earlier this week after the team’s shock loss to Bangladesh, forcing them out of the World Cup.
The patrons behind the ECESF are a group of concerned Australian philanthropists and former cricketers who are concerned about the large number of English tourists suffering from mental health issues while down under.
Speaking from his home in North Sydney, Mr Howard said it was a small sacrifice to help a wonderful cause.
“As many of you know, I’ve maintained quite a collection of tracksuits,”
“I’ve grown close to each of them – they all have a story behind them,”
“But it’s time to let them go. It’s for a good cause that I’m behind.”
As an avid walker, the 75-year-old became famous for the increasingly flamboyant and bold tracksuit outfits – which garnered him a fair amount of publicity wherever he roamed.
The overwhelming majority of his collection feature a national sporting team, most commonly the Wallabies or the Australian Cricket Team.
Australian Living Treasure, Dick Smith, said the heartbreaking stories of pain and loss that are emanating from the UK prompted him to act.
“At the end of the day, Australian and British people are the best of friends,” said Mr Smith.
“We might ‘bung it on’ over a sport match but we look out for each other,”
“That’s why me and a couple of mates set this fund up,” he said.
“To raise enough money to buy all these whingeing pommy bastards a one way ticket back to Heathrow.”