Wednesday, 22 July 2009


‘You Beauty!’ says Branson

Virgin boss revels following Lord’s victory and Virgin Media charity incentive

As England celebrate the first win in this year’s Ashes, Virgin chief Richard Branson has praised the team and their ‘bonza’ performance following the stunt that riled Australians and saw him appear on the Sydney Harbour Bridge before the first test, to help launch Virgin Media’s ‘Fifty50’ charity initiative.

The company has already pledged £8,000 to charity following the first two Ashes tests in Cardiff and at Lord’s, where England finally beat Australia for the first time in 75 years.

The unique initiative will see the UK’s leading broadband provider donate £1,000 to charity every time an England batsman scores a half century during the series, to celebrate the national roll-out of it’s ultrafast 50Mb broadband service.

Delighted with the team’s performance to date, cricket fan Richard Branson said; “You beauty! What a bonza performance by England’s boys - I’m absolutely over the moon that we took the second test at Lord’s. England put in a fantastic performance and the team have already reached eight half centuries to date, raising £8,000 for charity in the process through Virgin Media’s ‘Fifty50’ initiative. It seems that our little stunt in Sydney has riled the Australian team by putting pressure on them, whilst our charity incentive has equally spurred on the England team. All I can say is once again, good luck at Edgbaston Ricky…you’ll need it!”

Following England’s draw in Cardiff and superb win at Lord’s this week, no fewer than five England players have already reached the half century milestone on eight separate occasions:

Kevin Pietersen, who scored 69 in the first innings of the Cardiff test will see £1,000 donated to children’s charity Barnardo’s;
Matt Prior who ran in 56 in the first test and 61 in the second raised £2,000 for his chosen charity;
Paul Collingwood who has managed three half centuries to date in the series, racking up 64 and 74 runs in the first test and 54 at Lord’s, raising £3,000 to be split between Marie Curie and Chance to Shine;
Alistair Cook, who managed an impressive 95 in the second test raising £1,000 for Young Lords Taverners; and
Captain Andrew Strauss, whose unforgettable 161 in the first innings of the second test

The unique ‘Fifty50’ scheme will run throughout The Ashes and will see Virgin Media donate to a selection of good causes favoured by the England players. Launched by former England skipper and Yorkshire player Michael Vaughan, the charity donations will go to each English batman’s chosen charity, every time he scores 50 runs or more in a single innings, throughout the series.

To find out more about Virgin Media’s 50Mb service, visit

- Ends -

Media Contacts

Frank PR, 0207 693 6999 or

Notes to Editors

Terms and Conditions

Virgin Media will donate £1,000 for every England player who scores 50 runs or more in a single innings
One charity per player is permitted which should be communicated to Virgin Media before the end of the series.
The prize is non-transferable, and there is no alternative.
Virgin Media reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the initiative or amend these terms and conditions where reasonably necessary.

About Virgin Media

With almost 10 million customers, Virgin Media is the UK's first quad-play provider of broadband, TV, phone and mobile.

The company is one of the largest residential broadband providers in the UK, using a unique fibre optic cable network to deliver next generation ultrafast internet access of up to 50Mb to just over half of all homes. Combined with a high speed ADSL service and mobile broadband products, Virgin Media is able to offer broadband internet access to virtually the entire country.

Virgin Media has the UK’s most advanced TV on demand service and is the only TV platform to carry BBC iPlayer. It is the second largest provider of pay TV, was the first to launch a high definition TV service and offers a high-specification, HD-ready V+ personal video recorder.

The company operates the most popular virtual mobile network in the UK which, when launched, was the world’s first such mobile phone service. It is also one of the largest fixed-line home phone providers in the country.

Virgin Media also owns Virgin Media Television (VMtv) which runs eight entertainment channels, including Virgin1, LIVING, Bravo and Challenge. VMtv is a 50 per cent joint partner with BBC Worldwide in UKTV, which consists of ten channels including Dave, G.O.L.D., Watch and Alibi.

With operations based entirely in the UK, Virgin Media Inc. is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market (VMED).

For more information, go to


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