An avid golf fan and motorbike fanatic saw months of hard work pay off at the Irish Open, with Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke signing a custom-painted motorbike due to be auctioned for charity.
Iain Baldwin, a custom paint and airbrush designer, conceived the idea to paint portraits of McIlroy, McDowell and Clarke on a motorbike after the latter triumphed at Royal St George’s.
Iain pitched the idea to the owner of his local Honda motorbike dealership, who graciously agreed to sponsor the project and donate a motorbike.
After receiving permission from Royal Portrush, Getty Images and the European Tour, and receiving assurances the golfers would sign the bike, Iain set about painting.
He worked solidly for seven and a half days to ready the motorbike, which was signed by the three players at The Irish Open’s Wednesday Pro-Am.
“I had this amazing dream to paint a bike and gain an amazing amount of money for charity,” said Iain.
Fortunately, his ambition and philanthropic nature was shared by the owner of Belfast’s Tim Allen Hondas.
“I approached the main desk in the dealership and asked to speak with the manager. This guy in an old pair of jeans said ‘you’ll have to speak to me, son’,” said Iain.
“Not knowing he was the owner, I informed him of my dream. He walked around the counter, and at this point I though I was going to get thrown out.
“But, instead, he grabbed my arm above the elbow and said ‘Son, what bike do you want?’ I couldn’t believe it.
“It has been great to see my dream become a reality. At this point, I am eager to see the hard work pay off for a deserving charity,” he added.
Iain plans to either sell the bike or put it on auction, with money raised going to the G-Mac Foundation, Darren Clarke Foundation, Clic Sargent & UNICEF Ireland.
To keep up to date with the motorbike’s progress, or to get in touch with Iain, visit www.liquidcolourdesign.com, or find him on Facebook (Liquid Colour Design) and Twitter (@LiquidColour).