Beckham torch attracts auction bids

An Olympic torch carried by David Beckham has attracted bids of over £1,500 after London organisers began an online auction of Games memorabilia.


The site is expected to sell off collectors' items include a baton from the men's 4x100 metres relay and tennis balls from the Olympic tournament once the Games get under way on July 27.

Mindful of criticisms that the Games have become too commercial, organisers said the funds raised would help to offset the cost of the torch relay and of staging the Games themselves.

They denied that the website was set up in response to some participants selling their torches on the eBay auction website.

The site features the torch carried by former England football captain Beckham when the Olympic flame arrived in Britain from Greece on May 18. As an added personal touch, it has Beckham's autograph on it.

Organisers said the torches cost 500 pounds to manufacture and torchbearers involved in the relay around the British isles could buy them for a subsidised price of £199 as a memento.

The ones up for sale on the web site are those not wanted by the participants or donated by celebrities like Beckham.

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