As the country still basks in the afterglow of England’s World Cup run, for one lucky fan, football has very much come home.
James Barker from Dewsbury has won a limited edition, custom-made Hublot watch which once belonged to Alan Shearer in a charity raffle.
Rumoured to be worth over £30,000, the striking watch features a bespoke England flag patterned strap, multi-layered chronographs and is one of only two of its kind in the world. Its counterpart is still owned by Shearer today.
James heard about the raffle, which was organised by not-for-profit organisations The Rob Armstrong Rebound Therapy Centre and The Alan Shearer Foundation, and hosted and promoted online by social media advertising agency, Epic Social, through Facebook.
“I’m still in shock, I can’t believe I’ve won,” James said.
“I’m a big football fan and also a big fan of watches so I’ve always been aware of the Hublot brand, but never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d ever own one.
“I’ve had a few years of bad luck with ill-health and money at times has been extremely tight, so winning the watch is a complete life-changer. I can’t thank Rob, Alan and the team at Epic Social enough.”
The raffle, which raised a whopping £16,607 for the two charities, ran for the duration of the World Cup before the winner was chosen at random by Alan Shearer himself on the last night of the competition in Russia.
Rob Armstrong, the Newcastle-based entrepreneur behind LA Taxis and MTrec Recruitment, was instrumental in the organisation of the raffle. He said:
“We’re absolutely delighted for James. He is such a genuine, lovely person who has had some hard luck in recent years, so for him to take the time out to buy a raffle ticket to help raise money for others when he has suffered himself is really humbling.
“I know how much winning the watch means to him and I hope that it gives him the boost that he needs to get back on his feet.”
To help spread the word about the raffle, Rob and Alan enlisted the help of social media advertising specialist, Epic Social.
Epic Social creates high-quality, engagement-driven social media content for brands and organisations, using targeted advertising to help maximise exposure to its clients’ key audiences.
“We were absolutely delighted with the response we received to the Hublot giveaway campaign,” said Ben Maughan, managing director at Epic Social.
“In total, the campaign reached over 259,952 people across the UK of which 4,338 clicked-through to the JustGiving page to purchase raffle tickets.
“The Rebound Therapy Centre and The Alan Shearer Foundation are both such fantastic causes, we were delighted that we were able to help, and huge congratulations to James for winning the spectacular watch!”
Founded in early 2018, The Rob Armstrong Rebound Therapy Centre provides care and education for children living with severe learning disabilities. Based at Hadrian School in Benwell, Newcastle, the Centre provides a range of educational and therapeutic opportunities for children aged two to eleven years old using trampolines to promote fitness and wellbeing and communication skills.
The Alan Shearer Foundation was established in 2012 to provide direct support to the Alan Shearer Centre in Newcastle which provides specialist respite, residential and social care services to people living with complex disabilities and acute sensory impairments.
For more information about Epic Social, visit www.epicsocial.co.uk.