Forget Britannia and her olive branch – if you’re shopping in Britain this autumn and get a 50 pence piece in your change, you’ll find the image of a time trial racer staring up at you.
It’s the work of Theo Crutchley-Mack, a cycling-mad 16-year-old from Yorkshire who has won a Royal Mint competition to create a cycling-themed coin for the 2012 London Olympics.
Rishworth School pupil Theo, who is an avid reader of Mountain Biking UK magazine, told BikeRadar: “The idea of my design being seen by millions of people and being in their back pockets is an amazing feeling. It’s a dream come true.”
Theo enjoys mountain biking, particularly trials, and is a member of two local clubs, Blazing Saddles in Hebden Bridge and Pedal Sport in Halifax. “I’m into art as well, so this competition involving cycling and art was a really good opportunity,” he said.
“I heard about it from my dad, went on the internet and did some research, and produced a few starting sketches… It’s amazing to see my design on the coin.”
Theo has been given a one-off solid gold version of his 50p – the standard cupro-nickel version goes into circulation in September – and has won £10,000 for his school. “I’ve still got to speak to my headmaster but I’d like some to go into cycling,” he said.
Dave Knight, the Royal Mint’s head of commemorative coins, said: “Forget the fact Theo’s 16 – this is a very good design full stop. He’s really captured the essence of the sport. The judges were impressed by the sense of speed, drama and excitement he managed to capture in his entry.”
The cycling coin is the second in a series of 29 officially licensed 50ps, designed by members of the public as lasting mementos of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.
The standard 50p has an image of the Queen on the front and Britannia (seated beside a lion and carrying a shield, trident and olive branch) on the reverse side.