Sheffield’s Jess Ennis back in swing of it

Sheffield Sporting Figures took part in the Richard Hill Memorial Golf Day at Sickleholme Golf Club...Jessica Ennis-Hill with footballer Lee Hendrie
Sheffield Sporting Figures took part in the Richard Hill Memorial Golf Day at Sickleholme Golf Club...Jessica Ennis-Hill with footballer Lee Hendrie
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She can run, leap over hurdles and hurl a javelin – but now Olympic hero Jessica Ennis-Hill has added golf to her enviable list of talents by teeing off in a charity match.

Jess took to the course alongside a host of other sports stars to raise money in memory of 14-year-old Richard Hill, from Hathersage, who died tragically from Sudden Cardiac Death Syndrome.

The match, at Sickleholme Golf Club in the Hope Valley, featured 20 teams including world squash champion Nick Matthew and footballers Chris Waddle, Lee Hendrie and Darius Vassell.

Organiser Richard Higgins – Sheffield Wednesday’s official club doctor – said the proceeds could total up to £5,000 once counted up.

“It was a good day, we’re hoping we’ve raised quite a significant amount,” he said.

Dr Higgins revealed heptathlete Jessica was a golfing novice, but showed remarkable prowess with the club alongside athletics coach Toni Minichiello.

He joked: “She’s got potential! She’s never played golf before. She was auctioning herself off as a caddy to the highest bidder, but ended up playing, and she was phenomenal.

“She seems to be good at everything, she hammered the ball down the 18th and aced a 10ft putt.”

The medic’s son Jack, 13, was close friends with Richard Hill, who died last August. The fit and healthy teenager was found by mum Nicola collapsed over the bath at home.

Since the tragedy, friends and family have held events in aid of a memorial fund.

“There have been a number of things we’ve done locally,” said Dr Higgins.

“The children around Hathersage have done sponsored swims and car washes, but this was the first time we’ve had a golf day. They’re hoping to possibly use the money to build a skate park in Hathersage for the youngsters there, and name it after Richard.

“He was a delightful young man, very popular and a lovely lad. All of his family came to the match, his granddad used to play golf with Richard at Sickleholme.”

After the game, Owls and Olympics memorabilia was auctioned off, including a signed Great Britain football shirt. Nick Matthew also gave bidders the chance to play a round of golf with him.

“You’re always calling on the goodwill of these very busy sportsmen and women, but I hope we can do it again, whether annually or biannually,” Dr Higgins added.