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A unique Middlesbrough FC home shirt, signed by the team and personalised by Middlesbrough-born world-renowned artist Mackenzie Thorpe, is being sold to raise money for a charity set up by ex-Boro hero Colin Cooper.

Mackenzie, and wife Susan, were invited to the House of Commons with a number of Middlesbrough business people and dignitaries and his rousing speech was so well-received he was presented with a signed shirt from his home town team.

Mackenzie saw this as an opportunity to help the Finlay Cooper Fund, set up by Colin Cooper and his wife Julie following the tragic death of their son, and personalised the shirt with a signature and in his unique style created the Transporter Bridge from the Adidas logo and drew various football related pictures on the white band of the shirt.

The shirt is also signed on the reverse by pupils from Caedmon Primary School in Grangetown who were privileged to be among the first to see the shirt.

Colin Cooper said:   “Earlier this year, The Finlay Cooper Fund was invited to The Houses of Parliament; we were honoured to be there. We invited Mackenzie to attend alongside us, not only did he come without hesitation; he also gave an inspired speech about his love of Teesside, the people and his beloved ‘Boro’.

“The ‘Boro’ shirt that Mackenzie has sketched on is not only a fantastic piece of art, but an amazing memento for anyone who loves Teesside and ‘The Boro’. On behalf of all of us at The Finlay Cooper Fund, we thank Mackenzie for his continuing support for our charity.”

Mackenzie Thorpe said: “Colin and Julie Cooper suffered an incredibly sad loss and have been tireless in their fundraising.

“This shirt is a complete one-off and for Boro fans and art lovers alike will be a great piece of memorabilia. It’s not often that a football shirt is seen as a work of art but I hope that the drawings will attract lots of attention and raise a good amount of money for a fantastic charity.”

For more information or for bids (with a reserve of £500) email wendy@mackenziethorpe.com – the closing date is midnight on Sunday January 4th 2015

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