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Michael Sheen’s suits raise funds for heart research

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A selection of clothes once owned by Hollywood legend Michael Sheen have raised hundreds of pounds for the British Heart Foundation after the Welsh actor’s parents donated them to their local charity shop.

Anne Evans has managed the BHF shop in Sheen’s hometown of Port Talbot for 24 years and says the Sheens are regular visitors, “We know Michaels’ parents, Meyrick and Irene, and were thrilled when they turned up with their donation. The family are very well thought of in Port Talbot, and our volunteers are always on the look-out for special items or anything that’s out of the ordinary, so we wanted to make the most of their generosity by raising as much money as possible with the clothes.”

Three suits and a jacket were sent to the charity’s eBay site, where they attracted bids from Sheen fans all over the world, raising a total of £876 which will fund the charity’s research into heart and circulatory diseases. The sale offered bidders the chance to own a piece of Hollywood history, purchasing an item worn by the film and TV star.

The Sheens have supported the BHF for over 20 years, after Michael’s father Meyrick, 82, had heart surgery. 

Irene Sheen told BBC Radio Wales how the donations of her son’s suits to their local charity shop came about, “Michael bought a house just outside Pontardawe a couple of years ago and has been sorting it out, and it got to the point where he’d moved in, with Anna and the baby and I said, ‘What am I going to do with these suits, Michael?’ – there were quite a few of them. I said, ’Do you want them?’ and he said, ‘No mum, you give them to whatever charity you want to.’

My husband had a quadruple heart bypass in 1999, so we owe a big debt to the British Heart Foundation for their research into heart conditions which has enabled Meyrick to survive the operation and 22 years later he’s still going strong.

“We have donated to the BHF in Port Talbot for the last 20 years, so we decided to donate the suits there, and if they could make any money out of them that would be lovely.”

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Michael’s father Meyrick added, “It was very nice to pay a visit to the shop. I go there fairly regularly to try and keep things down in the house anyway, so when we sorted Michael’s suits out and asked him, and he said, yes go ahead and do it, and that’s where we’ve ended up.”

Irene continued, “The suits, some of them, he would have only worn once or twice, so I think they’re in very good condition.”

Meyrick said, “I think the way he used to do it, if he was coming home from London for some evening performance or show or whatever, he’d make sure he had a good suit on and then he’d leave it with us. That’s what happened.” 

The highest selling item in the eBay sale was a Banana Republic suit which raised £510 for the BHF, and the most affordable item was a jacket from high street retailer Zara, which sold for £86. Fans paid £170 and £111 for suits from Club Monaco and Peter Werth.

A video featuring the Sheens donating the items to the Port Talbot shop received over 75,000 views after Michael Sheen retweeted it, with the light-hearted comment, “I am, however, still alive though. #StayOutOfMyRoomMum”

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Delighted Sheen supporters responded immediately. Adele K Thomas asked, “Are they finally turning your childhood bedroom into a home office too?”, with Michael replying, “Long gone!”

Michael Sheen recently charmed viewers with his TV film Last Train to Christmas premiering on Sky Cinema on 18th December. He’s set to entertain radio audiences on Christmas Day, presenting his own show with special guests including Good Omens co-star David Tennant from 2pm on BBC Radio Wales.

Head of BHF Cymru, Adam Fletcher said, “We rely on the generosity of the public to fund our life saving research, and this goes to show that everyone can do their bit for the BHF. Whether it’s donating your preloved items, or even those Christmas gifts which may not be quite the right size, or not exactly what you wanted to find under the tree; our elves are experts in uncovering treasure and turning donations into the money which powers our scientific breakthroughs which have kept families together for over 60 years.”

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