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Page last updated at 15:27 GMT, Wednesday, 13 October 2010 16:27 UK
London 2012 Olympic coin designed by Reading man
Shane Abery
Shane Abery has won a national competition to design a 50p coin

A delivery driver from Reading has won a national competition to design a new Olympic-themed 50p coin.

Shane Abery's boxing design beat 27,000 others in the first competition of its kind in the Royal Mint's 1,100 year history.

Mr Abery said he had entered the competition by chance and was was "shocked and ecstatic" to have won.

It will be one of 29 new coins produced by the Royal Mint to mark the 2012 Olympics.

Mr Abery, who says he is "not into art", found out about the competition because his children were watching Blue Peter.

Boxing gloves

Mr Abery knew from the start he wanted to choose a boxing theme.

"I wanted something quite simple, but instantly recognisable, I had the image of the boxing gloves in my mind," he said.

"My design is a pair of boxing gloves centred in the middle of the ring, with the ropes either side."

Mr Abery then forgot about the competition, and was shocked to find out he had been shortlisted.

Shane Abery
The new design features boxing gloves and a rope

Now his boxing design will adorn three million coins, due to enter circulation in 2010 and 2011.

"It's hard to get my head round really," said Mr Abery. "Until I actually see my coin in my change it will be hard to believe.

"I'm quite proud about what I've achieved."

The coins are sport themed, and include Olympic favourites such as sailing, swimming and basketball, as well as lesser known sports such as goalball and boccia.

Dave Knight is the Director of Commemorative Coins at the Royal Mint.

He said: "It's great someone like Shane could win, because he's not a designer. But he's come up with something really special."

The release of the 29 Olympic 50 pence pieces is the largest simultaneous range of designs the Royal Mint has ever featured on a circulating coin.

Since the 50 pence piece was introduced 41 years ago, when decimalisation was established, only 16 designs have ever featured on the heptagonal coin.

To view the winning coins and learn more about the designers visit Royal Mint Sports Collection.

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