We all start off enjoying sports and making do with whatever comes to hand to emulate our childhood sporting heroes, a rolled up rag for a football, a garden cane for a Javelin, a brick for a shot put, childhood imagination knows no bounds in the pursuit of fun and games. The rude awakening comes later when play turns to professionalism and money starts to rear it’s ugly head and intrude into our childish innocence, what was once free and abundant starts to acquire an ever increasing price tag. Here are five examples of sporting items that cost a small fortune.
Lacroix carbon fibre skis
I remember getting all fired up as a kid, stripping the slats from a butter barrel, fashioning myself a pair of skis and pretending to be Franz Klammer, oh those innocent days when most fun things were free and if you told me that one day in the future I’d have to pay going on for €50,000 for a pair of Lacroix’s carbon fibre jobbies I wouldn’t have had a clue what you were talking about, I could only count up to one hundred and nineteen, fifty thousand was a BIG number and probably a lot more Smarties than I could get in my mouth all at once and even more than my best friend Betty Shovelton could accommodate and she had a big mouth.
Rio Ferdinand football boots
I used to like a kick about with the boys as a young girl, I played in my school shoes and got a proper scolding from my Dad for scuffing the toes, he suggested I either play in my gym shoes on the block or if I was lucky enough to get a real game in a real team on a real pitch I should borrow a pair of my brothers cast offs, he didn’t seem to register the fact that big bruvs boots were a mile too big for me. I tried them on, I had to walk five yards before I moved. In those days even a modest pair of boots was beyond my meagre spending money, so I continued to play in my school shoes and did the best I could to hide the damage with a bit of spit and polish. Imagine my surprise when I read about a pair of Rio Ferdinand Swervy Bert’s going for a cool €27,000. How could you possibly get up to that astronomical sum for a pair of boots, the world’s gone mad, I thought. On further investigation it turns out they were auctioned and were jewel encrusted to nudge up the desirability and price. I suppose that’s cheating as they weren’t commercially available and you couldn’t possibly play in them, they were studded alright but with diamonds.
Louise Vuitton luxury trunk
Continuing the theme of using what was to hand to play sport. I used to like a game of cricket and I’d play with the boys and girls on the block, Gerald Smedley had a proper bat but he was a bit of a mardy bum and if he wasn’t batting and hitting sixes he’d go home and take his bat with him. So we’d use bits of old wood and tape or tie a handle to it and as the cricket ball was an old tennis ball you could still hit one over the roofs if you connected with the sweet spot, that was pretty much it, a bat of some sort and a ball. We never considered that you’d actually need something to carry them in, so €134,000 for a box seems a bit excessive. As it’s Michael Clarke a fellow Aussie I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt but all the same, is it really necessary? The Louis Vuitton Trunk was specially made for Michael out of thirty year old Poplar that had been dried for four years, it’s said to have solid brass locks, you would expect gold for that price and apparently the locks are pick proof, that’s a bit of a joke really as the contents are probably worth less than the box.
Andrew Dickson long-nosed putter
I never really saw the point in golf, famously quoted as “a good walk spoilt” by some wag, it’s appeal can’t be denied though. You whack the ball, walk to it’s current resting place, if you can find it, whack it several more times until it disappears down a hole and then do it again, another seventeen times until you reach the nineteenth hole which isn’t a hole, it’s a the club house and I’m barred anyway on account of me being a bloody woman and don’t get me started on the rules, the gamesmanship and the so called gentleman’s code of conduct. It does seem a little nerdy at times with aficionados salivating over the latest dimpled Titelist ball or the must have Otterskin glove. However each to their own and anyone who’s willing to pay €131,000 for the oldest verified club with the Andrew Dickson manufacturer’s stamp, a putter from from the 1700s, must be pretty passionate about his golf. Sotheby’s auctioned off this long-nosed putter in 2007. It doesn’t look much to be honest but it could possibly double as a comb for the follically challenged.
Designed by renowned British Artist Damien Hirst and ridden by Lance Armstrong during the 2009 Tour de France, the Butterfly Trek Madone bike was auctioned off at Sotheby’s and fetched the eye watering price of half a million bucks (€361,000) which makes it the most expensive bike in the world. Real butterfly wings were used in the making and were placed onto the actual rims and frame of the bike which predictably upset PETA who called the bike “barbaric” and fair comment, I suppose, but that’s Damian, bless him, he’s fond of utilising animal parts in his works of art. I’m guessing Lance was happy Mr Hirst chose butteflies, he would have been cursing dear old Damien had he the handicap of lugging half a shark up Alpe d’Huez. The bike currently resides in Katy, Texas and is available for viewings by appointment only.
Rebecca Taylor is Director at SkiBoutique.
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