Sheffield landlord raises nearly £10,000 for best friend's dream wedding after bride-to-be's cancer diagnosis

A Sheffield man has helped raise nearly £10,000 for his best friend’s dream wedding after a terminal cancer diagnosis.

By Miriam Kuepper
Thursday, 6th January 2022, 2:46 pm

Richard Billard, aged 34, has been best friends with Dale Lancaster, 34, since year seven when they both went to the same school in Sheffield.

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After discovering that Dale’s partner Jodie Bale, a 30-year-old nurse and mum, had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, Richard set about fundraising for a dream wedding for the couple.

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Dale Lancaster, Jodie Bale and their daughter

Jodie had battled cancer twice before but when it returned for a third time she was given the devastating news that it was terminal.

Richard, who runs the New Anglers pub in Handsworth, said: “Dale was the best man at my wedding, we went abroad together and obviously his soon-to-be wife Jodie was there as well.”

Richard and his wife Jade, 34, set up a Go Fund Me page and organised other fundraising events and so far nearly £10,000 has been raised.

Richard said: “After Dale losing his mum to cancer and Jodie getting sick again, the main aim is to raise some money to take the stress away from them so they can concentrate on other things and have their dream wedding.”

(left to right) Dale Lancaster, Richard Billard, Jade Billard, Jodie Bale at Richard and Jade's wedding.

The target set for the fundraiser is £15,000.

Currently, there is £9,700 in the fundraising account, raised through the Go Fund Me page, donations left by customers in Richard's pub and a Christmas fair.

Expressing his gratitude, Richard said: “I just want to say thank you to everyone who’s donated and to everyone who’s been involved.

“With Covid and the new variant, money was tight for a lot of people. So for people to donate…it’s a lot. I’m just so chuffed to bits that people can actually put their hand in their pocket and help for a good cause.”

Dale and Jodie, who live in Gleadless, plan to get married in the Van Dyke Hotel and have set the date for September.

To help raise more money for the couple, Richard and some friends are planning a football tournament in February and other events.

Richard said: “We’ve had some sports memorabilia donated to us, from boxing gloves all the way to football boots signed by managers or players, which we want to sell to achieve our fundraising goal.”

To donate visit here.