Signed Live Aid t-shirt raises money for charity in TV auction

Lifeboats News Release

A Live Aid t-shirt commemorating the historic rock concerts in 1985 and signed by organiser Bob Geldof, has gone under the hammer on BBC One show The Bidding Room to raise money for two lifesaving charities.

Estelle Bilson

Front of the t-shirt

Chris Weston waited outside the Television Centre in Shephard’s Bush, London to get the signatures of Bob Geldof, Terry Wogan and Nik Kershaw on his t-shirt from the 1985 Live Aid concert after the trio appeared on the chat show Wogan.

The t-shirt has never been worn and has been double framed in Chris’ home for over 35 years.

Live Aid was a benefit concert held on 13 July 1985 and organised by Bob Geldof to raise funds for the famine in Ethiopia. The event was held simultaneously at Wembley Stadium in London and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, US.

Chris, who lives in Bristol, has recently sold the t-shirt for £500 on BBC One’s The Bidding Room, which aired this afternoon (Monday 9 August 2021) at 4:30pm. The latest owner of the 36-year-old piece of clothing is dealer Estelle Bilson, creator of 70s House Manchester.

Chris has donated the money he made from the t-shirt sale to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team, two charities who are close to his heart following a series of bereavements in his family.

Chris said: ‘The two organisations do an awful lot for people and don’t get nearly enough recognition. If they help to save a life – whether it’s someone who is five or 95-years-old – there is no price in the world that can be put on that.’

Estelle will be auctioning the t-shirt on E-bay later this week, with the bidding starting at £500. Inspired by Chris’ donations, Estelle will also donate the money she makes from the auction to the two charities.

Estelle said: ‘Live Aid is woven into our cultural history, it is an event that everyone has heard of. I was so touched by the story behind Chris' t-shirt and his motives for his charitable donation that I wanted to be able to further support his chosen causes by auctioning this iconic and rare piece of rock memorabilia.’

RNLI Community Manager Ellie Walker said: ‘We are exceptionally grateful to Chris and Estelle for their support. The auctioning of the iconic Live Aid t-shirt is a unique way of raising money in aid of the RNLI.

‘The RNLI relies on the generosity of the public to fund its vital lifesaving service across the UK and Ireland. In 2020, RNLI lifeboat crews and lifeguards saved 349 lives and helped over 33,546 people.

‘Auctioning memorabilia is a great way to raise money for a cause and it’s often surprising what treasures people have. This is such a wonderful and thoughtful gift to the charity.’

The link to the auction where you can bid on the t-shirt and raise money for the two lifesaving charities will go live on Estelle’s Instagram later this week.

Notes to editor

  • Photo 1: front of the t-shirt. Credit: Estelle Bilson.
  • Photo 2: back of the t-shirt. Credit: Estelle Bilson.
  • Photo 3: Bob Geldof’s and Nik Kershaw’s signatures. Credit: Estelle Bilson.
  • Photo 4: Terry Wogan’s signature. Credit: Estelle Bilson.
  • Both Chris and Estelle are available for interview.

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Estelle Bilson

Back of the t-shirt

Estelle Bilson

Bob Geldof’s and Nik Kershaw’s signatures

Estelle Bilson

Terry Wogan’s signature

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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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