Ed Sheeran, Made in Suffolk Legacy Auction

We are delighted to announce our support for this amazing legacy auction.

All proceeds from the Ed Sheeran, Made in Suffolk Legacy Auction will help to create two vital life-enhancing legacy resources for the GeeWizz and Zest charities.

There are some fantastic lots to bid on, from a ticket and handbill to Ed Sheeran’s first ever public gig to Show and after party tickets to the 2021 BRIT Awards with Mastercard.

Read John’s story about how the auction came about below.

Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk Legacy Auction, John Sheeran

My wife Im0gen and I moved from Yorkshire to Suffolk with our young boys, Matthew and Edward (Ed), in 1995. Since then, as a family we have benefited hugely from all that the county has to offer. Ed recently described the essence to him, “Suffolk mean so much to me. I love walking in the countryside, the open skies, the light, the coast, fish and chips on the beach, or a pint of local beer in an ancient pub”.

So we were very pleased when Ed decided to end his record-breaking divide world tour in summer 2019 in Suffolk, in our county town of Ipswich. It was like coming full circle. Ipswich was where he played some of his very first gigs as a teenager. The four evenings in Chantry Park with the most wonderful homecoming for Ed. The deafening welcome from tens of thousands each night was extraordinary to experience.

To coincide with the gigs, I helped Ipswich Borough Council to organise an art exhibition called Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk at Christchurch mansion. It celebrated Ed’s early years and career in Suffolk, and his later achievements. We felt it was going to be popular with people from our region but was surprised and delighted that people from all over the world came to see it too. For some, it was their first visit to Britain. They went on to look around Ipswich, and visit other parts of Suffolk including Framlingham, where Ed grew up.

The exhibition was due to close in May 2020. Imogen and I wanted to create a lasting legacy from the exhibition for young people in Suffolk. We met up with Gina Long of the remarkable Suffolk charity Gee Wizz, which provides much-needed facilities for severely disabled children and teenagers. Gina is a very special person whose heart and empathy for others drives everything she does. She is an inspiration. We developed the idea of an auction of exceptional items and experiences to be held at the end of the exhibition.

The project had to be put on hold with the national lockdown caused by the COVID-19 virus emergency; but we continue to work on it convinced it must happen one day. We are so thankful that it can go ahead now.

We started the ball rolling by asking Ed whether he would donate to the auction, preferably something personal. We were thrilled when he gave us the handwritten lyrics for his 2017 global hit Perfect (Lot 100), I don’t think you could get anything more personal from him. The words are such a beautiful expression of his love for his Suffolk girlfriend Cherry, whom he married last year. Of course, the song is hugely popular and appeals directly to lovers  worldwide. It is so far amassed over 2 .5 billion views on YouTube, and 1 .4 billion streams on Spotify.

Ed‘s brother Matthew has also given us a unique item,  a specially produced facsimile of his handwritten orchestral score for the classical version of Perfect, signed by both him and Ed (Lot 80). Known as Perfect Symphony, it was recorded with an orchestra at Abbey Road Studios, London. Ed later released it as a duet with Andrea Bocelli. Witnessing our two sons at Abbey Road working together on Perfect Symphony was one of the proudest moments of our lives. It was also the first time Ed had sung live with an orchestra and in one take. Such a special day.

Imogen and I have tapped our collection of Ed memorabilia to donate various items to the auction. My favourite is a signed and framed ticket and handbill for Ed’s first ever public gig, when he was 14 (Lot 1). We hired a local hall in Framlingham for £20 and sold tickets for £3 each. Around 30 people turned up, mostly his friends, their parents and members of the church choir. We printed about 100 tickets and threw most of the unused ones away but crucially we kept a few. By comparison, with that first gig to a few locals, it’s amazing to think of Ed playing to 8.9 million people during his last world tour.