Footballers get a kick out of charity fund-raising with Carlisle relay run

HAWICK, UNITED KINGDOM. - 11 / Sept / 2012 : 'Charity Walkers''(Photo by  Rob Gray / digitalpic / Freelance / � 2012)
HAWICK, UNITED KINGDOM. - 11 / Sept / 2012 : 'Charity Walkers''(Photo by Rob Gray / digitalpic / Freelance / � 2012)

FOOTBALLERS from Hawick United are hoping a gruelling relay run from Carlisle will net them plenty of cash.

The squad of 16 are taking it in turns to cover the 40-mile route with a goal to raise as much money as possible for the Helping Hands charity.

Club captain Kevin Strathdee said: “It’s going to be a big challenge, but we’re all really looking forward to it.”

Team manager George Shepherd will be providing the support in a minibus as the group make their way from the M6 roundabout back to the town next Sunday.

“We’ll be running in pairs and doing two or three mile stints,” said Strathdee. “But I think our competitive nature is taking over already so there’s some just going to go and cover as much as they can in one go.”

The charity chosen is run by Steven and Ann Turnbull, the parents of United defender Colin Turnbull.

Helping Hands was founded in 2010 and helps people who have suffered a brain injury with rehabilitation and recuperation.

Steven had a brain haemorrhage in 2009 and received help from the Momentum charity, a leading not-for-profit organisation providing rehabilitation, training and care services for more than 2,000 disabled and socially-excluded people throughout the UK every year.

He explained: “I joined them not thinking they could help me. I was still at the feeling sorry for myself stage, but I loved it and they helped me massively with day trips and social gatherings.

“One of the support workers decided to set up a group for service users to finance more outings and get-togethers and so Helping Hands was created.

“Unfortunately she retired after it was set up so we’ve taken it on.” The charity helps some 200 people throughout the Borders and has raised more than £20,000.

Their latest plan is to buy a caravan at Berwick and the couple are delighted to receive the support from the local footballers.

Steven said: “It’s absolutely brilliant.

“We couldn’t believe it when they told us what they were planning to do.”

Sponsor forms are available from the players or at the Queens Head pub on the High Street.