Sheffield football fans ride to raise charity cash for hospital appeal

A group of football fans have raised £1,465 for better Sheffield hospital facilities to help families who have lost a new baby.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 2:32 pm

Football allegiances were put to one side on Saturday (June 26) when eight Sheffield Wednesday, United and Barnsley fans cycled 95 miles from Sheffield to Blackpool to support The Sheffield Hospitals Charity Jessops Wing Bereavement Appeal.

The riders involved in the third annual ride were Andrew Marshall, Craigh Barraclough, Daniel Sutcliffe, Iain Atkins, Ian Tilbrook, Neil Tilbrook, John Wray and Gerd Vandamme.

A Tweet from the team said: “They completed it! 8 riders started at 8am, 7 finished. Chain mishaps & a puncture but nothing was going to stop them arriving at Blackpool Tower at 7pm.

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“Massive thanks to all the team, support and sponsors.”

The appeal has a Just Giving page: www.justgiving.com/sheff2blackpool

Iain Atkins said before the ride: “Currently, the space is very inflexible without seating for larger families or anything to distract siblings while their parents are in distress.

Sheffield Fans Derby team members on a previous charity bike ride
Sheffield Fans Derby team members on a previous charity bike ride

"At such a delicate time the current layout is unfortunately very formal and intimidating. The area also lacks a private entrance meaning that parents face the daunting task of having to walk through the main Jessop Wing entrance on their way into the Bereavement Suite, passing patients attending baby scans or carrying out their healthy newborn babies.

“In addition, there is a serious need for a peaceful area to conduct appropriate religious, spiritual and cultural ceremonies. In particular, the current Bereavement Suite is lacking suitable and dignified washing facilities for Muslim families as there is no free flowing water or required drainage for contaminated water.

“The proposed project will include renovating the outdoor garden, currently an uninviting area, which is overlooked and with no weather protection or seating for families to take a moment together. The garden provides little privacy or stillness during this very emotional time.”

The Sheffield Fans Derby group brings together a group of Blades and Owls fans each year to play a match in support of charities. It was set up in 2008 to support Sport Relief and has so far raised money for 12 charities through a variety of events. The grand total to date is £56,000. Website: www.sheffieldfansderby.co.uk

Sheffield Fans Derby team members on a previous charity bike ride to Scarborough