A Paul McCartney superfan whooped with delight after bagging a personalised gift from the star - just in time for her birthday - in an auction room bidding battle.
Anne Wagg, who celebrates her 66th birthday on March 15, bid a hefty £900 at Derbyshire’s Hansons Auctioneers to buy a very special Beatles item.
The music legend donated the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band super delux, six-disc to Nottingham charity Forever Stars – with a pledge to personalise it for the buyer.
“It’s the best birthday present ever. I am absolutely delighted,” said Anne, from Littleover, Derby, who was in the saleroom with husband Ray, 66.
“It’s our 46th wedding anniversary on Sunday (March 18) too so that makes it even more special.”
In true Beatles superfan mode, the couple are now planning a stay at Liverpool’s Hard Days Night Hotel to celebrate.
Anne said: “I’ve loved the Beatles since I was nine or 10 but Paul has always been my favourite. I’ve seen him perform 12 times. I even met him once years ago outside the Ritz Hotel in Paris.
“I’d gone to see him perform but got lost in the city and ended up at the Ritz. It turned out he was staying there with wife, Linda.
“They both came out and it was mayhem with bodyguards keeping people away but Linda was lovely. We told her we had come from England to see Paul and she beckoned us over to have a photo taken with them. The awful thing is I’m the only one on the photo whose face came out blurred.”
That’s still a painful memory for Anne but there was no wiping the smile off her face as she penned a message, which will be sent to Paul, telling him she has been a fan for 55 years and asking him to sign the disc to ‘Anne’.
The auction was also great news for Nottingham couple Richard and Michelle Daniels. They were ‘blown away’ by Sir Paul McCartney’s decision to donate the gift to their charity.
Business owner Richard, 41, and wife Michelle, 39, a nurse, launched Forever Stars in 2013 to help bereaved parents following the tragic loss of their baby daughter Emily. She was stillborn on December 19, 2013, at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham.
Richard, from Chilwell, said: “The donation was amazing, I was absolutely blown away by it. I was in shock when we received the email confirming the gift from Sir Paul McCartney’s office, which we contacted in the hope he would help us. It was a generous gift from one of the world’s biggest stars.”
Jo Sharp, the charity’s fundraising manager, said: “I was absolutely delighted to be at Hansons when the Sir Paul McCartney item went under the hammer, and even more delighted to learn it was an early birthday present for superfan Mrs Wagg.
“Forever Stars are hugely grateful to Hansons for assisting us in the sale of this wonderful item which has helped us to raise such a phenomenal amount of money.”
Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: “We always do as much as we can to support charity causes. I am delighted for Anne and for Forever Stars.”
The charity has already raised more than £250,000 - £115,000 of which was used to build Serenity Suite, a bereavement area for parents who have stillborn babies or suffer the distress of neonatal baby loss at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham.
Following that success, parents contacted the charity to ask for help to open a similar facility at Nottingham’s City Hospital. It opened last December, aided by an £80,000 donation from Forever Stars. In February the charity announced a £1 million Forever In Bloom Appeal to develop a remembrance garden for bereaved parents.
Anne added: “Knowing the money will go to such a worthwhile cause makes it all even better.”
The Paul McCartney donated gift was sold on March 14 at Hansons Auctioneers, Heage Lane, Etwall, Derbyshire. The original estimate was £250-£300. To find out more, call 01283 733988.