Saturday, 18 September 2021

Footballers stand out at men-only charity run

FOUR members of Woodcote and Stoke Row Football Club raised more than £500 for charity by taking part in a

FOUR members of Woodcote and Stoke Row Football Club raised more than £500 for charity by taking part in a 5km run.

Michael Higley, 30, Andy Bullett, 36, Adam Burgess, 26, and Carl Smith, 28, ran in the third annual Boys Beating Cancer race at Newbury Rugby Club.

The event was launched in 2011 as the male equivalent to the women-only Race For Life, which is held in towns across the UK every year.

As with Race For Life, proceeds from Boys Beating Cancer go to Cancer Research UK.

All four have friends or family members who have been treated for cancer. Mr Higley, the club’s secretary, found out about it when he picked up a flyer while supporting his girlfriend Caz Thatcher at last month’s Race for Life in Reading.

He spread the word among his team and the other three, who are all full-backs, agreed to join him.

Other members wanted to sign up but were unable to because of the short notice.

The quartet named themselves Team: Testi-Cool, a play on the fact that testicular cancer is the most common form of the disease in young men. They ran wearing matching Lycra body suits with luminous multi- coloured stripes.

Mr Bullett, Mr Burgess and Mr Smith had warmed up the day before by playing in a home match against Crowmarsh FC.

Miss Thatcher, her parents and Mr Higley’s friend Josh Brown cheered them on.

Mr Higley, of Corfe Mews, Caversham, said: “It was good fun and there were lots of people running in fancy dress so we didn’t stick out too much.

“The atmosphere was good and the weather wasn’t too hot, which made running much more bearable.”

The team set out to raise £300 but have so far raised £505. “We all made donations ourselves and the rest came from our friends and our families,” said Mr Higley.

“We very pleased to have gone more than £200 over our target.”

Almost 500 people took part in the race compared with 278 last year when £9,400 was raised.

The footballers plan to enter again next year and may compete in other events too.

Mr Higley said: “We only had two weeks to get ourselves organised, hence the fact that only four of us ran. Hopefully, we will get a larger team next time.”

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