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Justin Rose donates £30,000 to bring fan’s dream a step closer
Quadruple amputee Alex Lewis received a massive boost to his dream of one day playing golf again after his hero Justin Rose personally phoned up a fundraising auction and donated £30,000.
In total, a whopping £70,000 was raised at an event yesterday which was supported by friends, family and also some of the golfing world’s biggest stars, including TaylorMade’s Martin Kaymer, Callaway’s Phil Mickelson, Jack Nicklaus and Nike’s world no.1 Rory McIlroy.
Each golfer had donated auction prizes as a finale to a charity golf day, which was promoted on Twitter by celebrities such as Westlife, One Direction and Piers Morgan.
However, the clubhouse at Hampshire Golf Club in Andover was completely blown away when they received a phone call from Hampshire’s own champion Justin Rose when he put in a call direct from the US PGA during the day to say he wanted to personally give £30,000 to the Stockbridge dad-of-one.
2013 Open champion Rose, who also enjoyed victory recently in the Scottish Open, had already donated a trip of a lifetime to the Bahamas as one of the auction prizes – which went towards helping to fund Alex’s rehabilitation and pay for new limbs. The prize is yet to be claimed as no one has met it’s reserve of £28,000.
Last night Alex, 34, who lost all four limbs when a simple cold turned into a killer bug, was overcome with emotion at the huge show of support from his golfing heroes and community.
Alex, who bravely fought to hold back tears throughout the special day, revealed the most emotional moment came when a surprise video was played (put together by auction organiser Sky Sports golf reporter Tim Barton). Alex, who has followed and played golf since he was 12 years old – later going on to play for Hampshire County Juniors with a handicap or two – was stunned to see the players he’d idolised for so many years each take turn in leaving personal messages of support.
Four major champions were among the well-wishers: Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose, who called Alex their hero and urged him to stay strong during what must be an incredibly difficult time in his life.
Martin Kaymer revealed it was painful to hear of Alex’s story, saying: “We will try everything we can to make it more comfortable for you and we will support you, so stay strong.”
Justin Rose added: “Your bravery and everything you’ve been through, your attitude and how you are coping with everything has been incredible and an inspiration to us. It puts a lot of things into perspective out on the golf course.”
The remarkable event, sponsored by golf manufacturers Srixon and Cleveland, as well as Hildon Water, was hosted by Alex’s friends Chris Bagley, Malcolm Jarvis, Andy Taylor and Andy Snellgrove, alongside comedian Adger Brown.
The true hero of the day also had something to say about the event. Alex said: “The golf day started from humble beginnings to a worldwide auction, which goes to show people’s generosity and willingness to give to local charities. Without crying I can’t thank everybody who was part of today enough.”