Lancashire cricket fundraiser a big hit
People say it takes a village to raise a child but the villagers of Edgworth in Lancashire were intent on raising cash when they invited local sports celebrities to take them on in a T20 cricket match in support of the MND Association this month.
Edgworth Cricket club member Tim Dobie, whose police officer brother Rob died of MND in September, challenged the celebrities to a game in the shortened format and arranged to use the club's facilities to lay on a family day out.
"One of the organisers and active members of Edgworth Cricket Club is a lad called Jimmy Phillips and he's the academy director for Bolton Wanderers and also a former player for Bolton Wanderers. He had a very good professional career. He invited along some of his colleagues and former colleagues," said Tim.
"Warren Hegg, wicket keeper for Lancashire, who had a few appearances for England (was there and) Mike Watkinson, who captained Lancashire for quite a while. They were all brilliant and made themselves available to everyone during the day," he added.
Preparations started in April and Tim acknowledged the help from supporters. He gave a special mention to local businessman Mick Anderson who he said was a massive financial contributor to the event and captain of the Edgworth team for the match.
"There were many contributors to the event. There were lots of practical physical things to do but also a lot of things around social media to make sure we got the word out there and banners put around the borough advertising the day," said Tim.
Excellent weather on the day meant the crowd swelled to around a thousand with the unforeseen effect of boosting bar takings to more than a month's worth on a single day, he added.
"It was a lovely warm day," said Tim as he admired the bar takings, which go to the cricket club, adding that the organisers expected to raise nearly 11,000 pounds for the MND Association. The bucket collection raised 1,400 pounds alone on the day.
"Myself and my other brother played in the team and we prevailed over the celebrities so that was one highlight," said Tim. "The sum of money we raised was another and just the cameraderie and the fantastic coming together of people who mean a lot to us and meant a lot to Rob. It was an emotional day. He would have been in his element if he'd been there."
Words by Keiron Henderson - Volunteer writer