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Richard Rowe - CEO Golden PalaceBeckham ball with

July 23, 2004, London, UK - The now infamous 'Beckham Ball' which is blamed for England's Quarter Final defeat in Euro 2004 was purchased on eBay by online casino for 28,050 euros yesterday morning., one of the largest casinos on the Internet, has announced that it would be looking to utilize the ball to raise money for one of its charity efforts.

The Beckham Ball, which was made in Thailand and originally cost just 100 euros, became a collector's piece once England Captain David Beckham shot the ball wildly off target during a critical penalty shootout, ultimately contributing to England to be ousted from Euro 2004. The ball soared over the net and landed in the hands of Spanish football fan Pablo Carral several rows behind the goal. Carral was able to hide the ball under his clothes, and with the help of friends, managed to leave the stadium unnoticed.

The idea to purchase the Beckham Ball was that of Richard Rowe, CEO of Golden Palace and a native of Guernsey in the Channel Islands. 'Expect to see The Ball traveling around the world in an effort to raise money for charitable organizations,' Rowe promised in a press statement made Thursday. has been involved with charities including the Retired Boxers Foundation, and most recently Multiple Sclerosis Research, in cooperation with the celebrity help of NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman. will be bringing the ball to the UK to raise money for a charity hopefully of Beckham's choice. Football fans in the UK may get a chance to do what Beckham couldn't by kicking the now famous ball past the goaltender and into the goal for charity. Dates for the Beckham Ball Tour will be announced shortly on the website. The ball will also likely make appearances in Portugal and Greece. believes it is important to give back to the communities its players come from. The Beckham Ball is one of many guerilla-marketing events has created that entertains millions around the world because of their creativeness. Stay tuned for the next one from

UPDATE:'Beckham Ball' Changes Hands Again - Next Stop: Space!

August 9, 2004, Madrid, SPAIN - Following the much talked about winning of the eBay auction for 'The Beckham Ball' by on Thursday July 22, the online casino today formally presented seller Pablo Carral with a cheque for over £28,000.00 (approx. USD $35,000) at a Press Conference in Madrid, Spain. CEO Richard Rowe presented the cheque to Pablo in the Hotel Santo Mauro, Madrid-the hotel in which David Beckham chose to live during his first few weeks in Spain when he started playing for Real Madrid.

This is the very ball that Beckham sent sailing over the cross-bar during England's playoff loss in the Euro 2004 tournament and into the arms of Carral, a Spanish sports fan, who seized the ball and left the stadium with it concealed under his shirt. He decided to auction the ball on eBay where it was eventually purchased by

The casino plans to raise money for charity by allowing people to use The Ball to participate in penalty shoot-out style competitions worldwide. One of the stops on The Ball's tour around the world will be in an unlikely place: 100 kilometers above the earth in sub-orbital Space.

On August 5, 2004, the casino announced the Space Program: Powered By The da Vinci Project would be the Canadian entry in the Ansari X Prize competition. The first team that privately finances, builds, and launches a spaceship carrying three people to a 100 kilometer altitude (62.5 miles), returns safely to Earth, then repeats the launch with the same ship within 2 weeks will win $10,000,000. provided the funding necessary to complete the project.

Project team leader and pilot Brian Feeney will be bringing The Ball along for the ride as well as a laptop so that he can enjoy some of the games during their race to Space as they fly their ship, the Wild Fire, into the history books.

'We're very excited about bringing The Ball on tour around the world, especially our trip into Space,' said Rowe. 'We hope to raise a significant amount of money for charity, and expect to see more of The Ball appearing somewhere near you.'

The launch of the Wild Fire is scheduled for October 2, 2004.

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