A young footballer whose grandfather is dealing with dementia joined his team mates to launch a charity walk aimed at beating the illness.
Kian Wilson, aged 13, and six other players from U14s side Hallam Rangers FC, gathered at Hallam FC’s ground in Sandygate, Sheffield, to support the Memory Walk, happening at Rother Valley Country Park in October.
The boys were also visited by Sheffield Wednesday’s mascot, Ollie the Owl, as well as staff from the Alzheimer’s Society, which is organising the walk.
Kian’s grandfather, Gordon, is living with dementia after being diagnosed five years ago. The teenager’s dad - Gordon’s son - Stephen said the symptoms had been apparent for several years, but his father had been ‘in denial’, putting his problems down to old age.
“We were relieved to know for sure and also nervous about what was to come,” he said. “We all made a decision to learn as much about the condition as possible.”
Gordon now regularly attends walks run by the Alzheimer’s Society - so Stephen said taking part in the fundraiser with Kian was a fitting way of supporting the charity.
Kian said: “I’m really looking forward to the walk and it would be great to have all my team mates there. It’s been amazing to have a kickabout with the Sheffield Wednesday mascot at Hallam’s ground and I even scored a goal.
“Me and my dad are both Sheffield Wednesday fans, so I hope their support means more people will come.”
Memory Walks raised £1.6 million across the country last year. Proceeds go towards supporting dementia patients and carers, as well as research into treatments. Two routes of 2km and 10km are on offer at Rother Valley. n Visit www.memorywalk.org.uk/sheffield to sign up.