A Rod Stewart fan bid £27,000 to have dinner with the singer at London's famous Ritz Hotel, with seconds left on the clock.

Paul O’Rourke said he was looking forward to talking about "football and ankle injuries" when he meets the singer, an avid Celtic fan, and his wife Penny with his own wife Gemma.

He said the experience would make up for having to cancel a trip to see Sir Rod in concert in Las Vegas, which was organised for his wife's birthday and couldn't go ahead due to coronavirus restrictions.

The 75-year-old singer offered the prize for the Noel Christmas Auction, organised by Edinburgh-born cancer care charity Maggies's. Stewart was diagnosed and successfully treated for prostate cancer a few years ago.

Mr O'Rourke, who lives in Bolton, said: "Gemma has always been a huge Rod fan and we’ve been to see him many times across the UK. 

"As the auction went on and the price was going up I had to be realistic.

"It was an exciting and anxious few moments when I put my bid in at the end, but I knew the money was to help a wonderful meaningful charity like Maggie’s and I knew this was a great opportunity for us in every way.


“Over the last five years we have endured our own experience with a loved one learning they had cancer.

"We been through all the treatments, the uncertainty and the changes to everyday life and it’s not just the person living with cancer, cancer touches all of the family, all of your loved ones too.

“What I have learned is the resilience and hope you can gain from those who have been there before and that comes from organisations like Maggie’s which can help make all the difference."

 “When the time comes and we can dine at The Ritz, I’m hoping I can talk football and ankle injuries with Rod.

The Noel Christmas Auction raised £60,000 and was was bolstered by a surprise donation from the Wiseman Family Charitable Trust of £40,000. 

Maggie’s Fundraising Director Sharon O’Loan said: “People’s response to our auction has really amazed us and we can’t thank everyone enough.

“Paul and Gemma’s bid to dine with Sir Rod and Penny is just astonishing and I’m sure they’ll have a fantastic time.

"As Paul says, it will all go to helping people with cancer in what has been the toughest year imaginable.

“The fact that Sir Rod and Penny got behind us is just phenomenal and we are so grateful for their support."

Maggie’s opened their first centre in 1996 in Edinburgh and has offered support to people affected by cancer 74,000 times during lockdown.