A collector of signed celebrity memorabilia sold a punch bag used by Muhammad Ali for more than £4,000 during a TV show.
Stephen Hillier, 52, known as Steve, sold the champion heavyweight’s speed ball on Channel 4’s Four Rooms, where collectors pitch their pieces to the country’s most prolific dealers in a bid to make some money.
The former Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School pupil has been collecting memorabilia for the past 36 years, said: “It’s signed by Muhammad who used it to train for fights in 1978. I used to like Four Rooms so I thought I’d apply.”
The historic leather bag caused a stir between dealers Alex Proud and David Sonnenthal, who battled it out to offer Steve the best price. Sonnenthal was triumphant and did a deal on the rare signed piece for £4,350.
Businessman Steve, who left the English rat race to live in Andalucia in 2003, will be using the money towards care home fees for his dad John, 77, who suffers from Alzheimers.
John and wife Gill, who passed away in 2010, were well-known faces in Bishopstone for many years as they ran The Harrow pub before retiring and joining Steve in the sun in 2008.
The former Princes Risborough resident said: “One of my favourites is a signed fedora hat that was worn by Michael Jackson during his 30th anniversary concert in back in 2001. When I got it, I was so pleased that I actually put it on and danced round the living room!”
The show aired at 7pm on Sunday and is currently available to watch on 40D.