Manchester United Disabled Fans Magazine Editor-in-Chief Auctiones Signed Shirts for Charity
A football fan who was paralyzed in a surfing accident and became editor-in-chief of Manchester United’s official disabled fans magazine, is auctioning off his collection of 10 signed United jerseys to raise money for spinal unity Southport Hospital.
Following the accident in Costa Rica in 2006 that paralyzed him from the chest down, Jamie Leeming started working on Manchester United’s disabled supporters magazine, Rollin ‘Reds.
He was left in a wheelchair and with limited movement in each hand after breaking his neck and losing consciousness while at sea. After being brought to safety by concerned locals, Jamie, today the 47-year-old was rushed to hospital, but it took him over a week to learn of the extent of his life-changing injuries.
His recovery led him to spend several months in the Spinal Injury Unit and he then moved to town to live with his longtime partner, Lucy.
Since moving to the city, he’s created Leeming Design – a web design service – and drone photography business Upshot Photos, as well as the edition of Rollin ‘Reds.
He said: âI’ve met all of United’s big stars over the past 10 years and I’ve even interviewed players like Wayne Rooney and Marcus Rashford, and even boss Ole Gunnar SolskjÃ¦r.
âEvery year I buy a shirt and get it signed by as many players as possible. They are all stored in new condition as I have no room to display them so I am auctioning them off on my website 10utdshirts.co.uk to raise money for the NHS.
Jamie used to base all his vacations on surfing – a hobby he practiced during a trip to Australia in 2001. But in 2006, on a surf trip to Costa Rica, he was Awkwardly fell off his surfboard and hit his head on the seabed, breaking his neck and nearly drowning.
He said, âI’m really lucky to be alive. I was in a secluded surf spot, but some locals were watching and rushed into the water to save me when they saw me floating face down on the ground.
“I was flown to San Jose and had surgery, but it was too late to stop any damage to my spinal cord and so I have been paralyzed ever since.”
Jamie, who previously worked as a page editor and designer for a tabloid newspaper, said becoming disabled opened many doors for him.
âWhen I got out of the hospital and started living my life again, I obviously had to go to United games in my wheelchair and noticed they were giving out free magazines to fans with disabilities.
âDue to my background in newspapers, I offered to help with production and one thing leading to another, I eventually became designer and editor of Rollin ‘Reds.
In the 10 years that Jamie worked on the magazine, he collected 10 shirts with autographs from all the big names like Sir Alex, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Wayne Rooney, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford, but even a few rare ones like Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Bastian Schweinsteiger.
The sale of the shirts will help fund a wheelchair-friendly minibus for the hospital that treated him on his return from Costa Rica.
Jamie says: âAfter my accident I was repatriated to the UK and spent 10 months at the Southport Spinal Injuries Center, learning to cope with my paralysis.
âSince then, I have come back and have had many surgeries to improve my quality of life, and this is my chance to give something back.
The auctions started on April 2, 2021 and last for one month with a day between the end time of each jersey. Money raised will go towards a wheelchair-friendly minibus for the North West Regional Spine Injury Center based in Southport and Formby District General Hospital.