Fans' farewell to Schumi to raise funds for more sporting memories
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Seven times World Champion Michael Schumacher retired from Formula 1 in November 2012. Following a wonderful donation by the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team of one of the very last official signed photographs of 'Schumi', a competition was announced to find the best memory from his fans. There was an amazing response, with fans from across the globe sharing over 155 of their magical moments of supporting their hero, adding to the two memories of Michael shared by Team Principal Ross Brawn.
As the list of memories grew, the idea to create a book to give to Michael as a gift was born. This idea has now blossomed and the plans can now be revealed, all of which will contribute to help funding more sporting memories activities for older fans with conditions including dementia and depression.
The book has been compiled to celebrate the remarkable career of Michael Schumacher and contains not only memories from his fans, but also some wonderful images of Michael from across his career. We would like to thank the following people for assisting or supporting the book and our work
- Ross Brawn: For his wonderful memories and support of the Sporting Memories Network.
- Mercedes AMG Petronas F1: For their support of the Sporting Memories Network and Danke Michael book project.
- Photography: Shivraj Gohil @ShivyF1 www.dashphotography.co.uk for his superb contemporary images of Michael with the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team.
- Archive Images: Archive images of Michael Schumacher supplied by Mirropix.
- Contributors: Michael's wonderful fans who made this book possible.
Winner of the signed photograph
The memory that has won the stunning A4 sized signed photograph, donated by the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team is below. Thank you to everyone for sharing so many wonderful memories of Schumi. In a tough contest to pick just one winner, it was the judging panel's opinion that the winning story captured the essence of what it is to see your hero in action. It's a memory to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and immediately took the panel into a place all sports fans have been. A time when you are totally immersed in the moment. A memory that will be cherished forever. Congratulations Myles Scullion!
Silverstone 1998, my first Grand Prix!
4 of us drove the length of Ireland in the wee hours of the morning to catch the first boat to Holyhead from Dublin. Excitement was oozing out of us. Arrived in Wales & started our journey for Silverstone. Weather was awful but we were still in high spirits. Our map reading skills were not the best & we ended up in Liverpool then done a few laps of Birmingham, our spirits were now truly dampened, but eventually we found our way to base camp. But to make things worse we missed qualifying. We set up at the campsite anyway & went for a muddy tour of the stalls. The sight of all the fans, camper vans & merchandise was amazing. Had beers with strangers, spent a fortune & the buzz of the trip was back! Hadn't the greatest night sleep but it was filled with a lot of laughter.
Race day started early & we made our way to the track. We couldn't get over the amount of people there, mostly Ferrari & McLaren. Again the heavens opened & as we walked looking for a good spot we got soaked. Finally close to race time we found our spot & huddled close together for as much heat as we could get. Then in the distance we heard the most amazing sound ever, the cars started to make their way to the grid. Luckily we had a view of a TV screen so we knew who & what was coming.
And then he appeared! The man I had idolised & longed to catch a glimpse of. Michael Schumacher came past us in the amazing Ferrari at a speed I'd never witnessed before! We went wild jumping & cheering. My heart was beating so fast I thought it would burst. It was like Christmas morning when I was a child. I literally had tears in my eyes.
Then the race started. Hakkinen led & was pulling away fast from Michael. Then not long into the race the rain came again. Mika had a huge lead but then due to spins & a safety car they were all back together. Weather was now terrible & everyone again was soaked. Race restarted & Michael passed Mika & the crowds went wild! But 2laps from home Michael was hit with a 10second stop/go penalty. We couldn't believe it! This meant he was going to lose the lead & the victory.
But to ours & the crowds astonishment Michael doesn't take the penalty on the penultimate lap & carries on racing! No one knew what was going on. Then on the last corner of the last lap Michael dives into the pit lane to take the penalty! There was actually silence. But while doing this he officially crossed the finish line in the pit lane. He sat still for 10seconds then jumped out of the car! Then Mika came around the last corner & took the chequered flag & the McLaren fans went crazy thinking they won. We still didn't know what happened or who won until the most amazing roar I've ever heard went up from the Ferrari fans & there on the screen it displayed the winner of the race.
We went nuts, we jumped, roared, laughed & fell in the mud. I had never felt the feeling I had at that moment ever before in my life. The long lost journey we endured, the practically sleepless night we had, the standing in cold wet clothes covered in mud, none of this even mattered anymore as the man we saw only before on TV or magazines, the man we were all huge fans of, the man we all came to see turned our damp wet weekend into a weekend of triumph & celebration! I will never forget this weekend, nor the faces on the McLaren fans when they found out they only got 2nd place.