Eric Cantona, the philosophising French footie ace, used to dazzle with his footballing master classes on the pitch and now the Director of Soccer at recently-revived New York Cosmos has stunned philanthropists with the sale of his beloved Roller.
The Rolls Royce Corniche II was handed to New York-based graffiti artists JonOne, who proceeded to give it a street-style paintjob that would have Rolls Royce owners clubs collectively choking on their morning caviar.
The graffiti-daubed 1984 convertible, which was spray-painted with the artist's "tag" in varying styles, was then displayed at an auction of street art in Paris where a bidding frenzy subsequently broke out.
A Corniche II – that Rolls Royce built between 1977 and 1989, selling more than 3,000 models– would usually fetch around £50,000 on the used market but the unique nature of this model and the charitable causes involved sent prices soaring to a whopping £110,000.
Cantona is donating proceeds from the sale to Fondation Abbé Pierre, the French homeless charity of which he is a patron. He said, in true pseudo-philosophical style: "It is the ultimate symbol of wealth, and now it's associated with a symbol of poverty by a true street artist."
The 6.75-litre V8 engined Roller was once regarded as the last word in luxury open-top motoring by celebrity owners who included Sir Elton John.