Fender Strat, Signed For Charity By Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton & Many Others, Found After Ten Years

February 1, 2018

A classic Fender Stratocaster that went missing after being signed for charity by Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Jimmy Page and other guitar heroes has been found more than ten years later.

The Leicester Mercury reports that the guitar belonged to promoter David Allen, of Market Harborough in Leicestershire. In 2007, he had it signed by many major stars, also including Brian May, Pete Townshend, Bill Wyman and Gary Moore, with the intention of auctioning it for Rainbows, the hospice for children and young people. He had hoped to raise £20,000.

After Clapton signed the Stratocaster, it was due to be returned to Allen via courier company Parcelforce. But they were unable to find any trace of it, after which the company donated £17,000 to Rainbows as an apology for its disappearance. That remained a mystery until two weeks ago, when the guitar was spotted for sale online and the police were called in to investigate.

The late Gary Moore signs the Fender Stratocaster

The Strat, it turned out, had been in a collection of items that were being sold in a house clearance after the death of the owner. The person who was trying to sell it, innocently unaware of its unusual history, had spent a mere £35 on it.

Now that the guitar has been reunited with the man who secured the remarkable collection of signatures in the first place, Allen will go ahead with his original plan to auction it for Rainbows, after adding some more famous names to it. “I can’t believe we finally have the guitar back after all these years,” he told the Leicester Mercury. “We never expected to see it again.

“A huge debt of gratitude goes out to those who notified us of the guitar’s whereabouts and to the police who acted so swiftly to ensure its safe return. I’m not going to let the guitar out of my hands, and will take it personally wherever it needs to be,” he added.

Explore our Eric Clapton Artist Page.

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14 comments

  1. Sean Chilton
    Reply

    Congrats on finding the Fender strat autograph,
    Signed by the greatest guitar heroes of all time
    And so forth. I’m she it’s an American Stratocaster.

  2. Kevin McKinney
    Reply

    35 pounds? A bargain price even for a Chinese Squire Strat with no special characteristics, let alone this–!

  3. Luis
    Reply

    It’s how fate works. A band of the greatest guitarists known to man. Of course Mark Knopfler being and will always be my favorite.

  4. judy l
    Reply

    How did it end up in the persons who died personal collection!?!? Lots of details are left out of this article. Happy it was found and returned but whoever wrote this article left out a lot of important information.

  5. Luke Thurston
    Reply

    it went missing in 2007 at the leicester parceforce depot, stopped being tracked at depot. The person who died, and had his belongings auctioned off, was an ex parcel worker. They think he took it, but it was too unique to sell, so put it in the back of the wardrobe. The guitar was sold off, and the person whom bought it, put it on ebay, where it was spotted and reported to police and Dave Allen.

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