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- English singer and songwriter, founding member of The Beatles (1940–1980)
A shirt that was stained with John Lennon’s blood on the night of his murder has been sold for £31,000 at an auction.
The white shirt was worn by concierge Jay Hastings as part of his uniform at the Dakota building in New York when the Beatles legend was shot by deranged fan Mark Chapman.
After the attack, Jay rushed to John’s aid and the star’s blood soaked into the shirt and is still visible on the chest and sleeves of the garment.
It was thought that the tragic piece of memorabilia from the fateful night would earn around £7,000 at the auction but surpassed that by thousands as it eventually racked up £31k.
The porter reportedly had a great working relationship with John and Yoko Ono and also included a signed copy of John’s album ‘Double Fantasy’ and a Thanksgiving card in the lot.
Jay also included a typed letter from Yoko Ono two weeks after her husband’s death, thanking staff for their support.
Speaking about Jay’s decision to sell the items, Gary Shrum from Heritage Auctions explained: “Jay Hastings kept this shirt all these years and never really spoke about it.
"It has just been sitting in a drawer for years and now he is getting older he felt it was time to sell it.
"There are remnants of blood on the shirt. Some people might be appalled but it’s a piece of history.
"We did ask ourselves 'is this too dark or wrong to sell’ but I don’t think it is.
"He is not exploiting John Lennon’s death. He is telling the story of how he tried to help John Lennon in the last few minutes of his life.”
Jay was on duty on December 8th 1980 when John and Yoko returned home from a busy day of photoshoots, interviews and studio recording.
Chapman had been hanging around the building all day and as John made his way into the block at 10.50pm the killer shot him two times in the back and twice in the shoulder.
Jay rushed to help the star but when he ripped open his shirt and saw the severity of John’s injuries he opted to cover him with his jacket instead.
The singing legend was pronounced dead on arrival at Roosevelt Hospital at 11.15pm.
[Photo Credit: Rex]