Andy Murray and Fred Perry

Andy Murray and his wife, Kim, have launched a charity raffle to win a tennis ball signed by Murray and the late tennis legend Fred Perry:

“Several years ago we were handed a very special package. A tube of white tennis balls that had been signed by the late Fred Perry, accompanied by a note from their owner, Gail Sargent.

Gail was a lifelong tennis player and had met Fred on his visit to Maresfield Tennis Club in 1994. Over a decade later she watched a young Andy Murray practising at a different tennis club, and was so impressed with his potential that she decided to gift him with the signed balls for him to do with what he saw fit. Gail was battling ovarian cancer, and sadly passed away in 2010.

Fast-forward to the summer of 2013, and after the ghost of Fred Perry had been extinguished on Centre Court at Wimbledon, he somehow resurfaced in our home as we stumbled across Gail’s parcel that had been tucked away, waiting patiently. Instantly Andy signed all three of the white balls and we realised that we had captured something unique.

The tennis world and beyond has been rocked in recent years by the tragic loss of Elena Baltacha, and coupled with Ross Hutchins’ battle against Hodgkin’s Lymphoma we are reminded that not one of us is immune to this horrible disease. So many charities work tirelessly to help those affected by all forms of cancer.

We have decided to raffle one of the signed tennis balls in Gail’s memory, with the entire proceeds donated to the hospice that cared for her in accordance with the wishes of her husband, Richard.

St. Peter & St. James hospice in Sussex has been providing specialist care for patients for nearly 40 years, and is largely dependent on the generosity of the local community in order to fund its services. The hospice provides support free of charge to patients and their families, helping them to cope during illness and upon bereavement. This year they need to raise more than £2.6million through fundraising, which is £7,200 every single day.

A second ball will be displayed at Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum from 23 June. Visit Wimbledon.com/Museum to find out how to visit. The third ball will remain with us.

We hope that this raffle can raise much needed funds for the hospice and enables them to continue the wonderful work that they do.

The draw takes place on 12th July and you can enter up until midnight on 10th July 2015.

Thanks for your participation

Andy & Kimberly Murray

Enter the raffle at: www.raffleplayer.com/andymurray