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May 8, 2017

The mountain blog: we did it!

So a week has now passed now since we embarked on our mountain challenge in memory of James. I have to say, that in the lead up to the challenge and certainly more so after it, I have never felt more proud of this football club and everyone connected with it. I’ve been lucky enough that in my 15 years playing senior football, the trophies and achievements I’ve been a part of fill me with immense pride – but to see the reception of what we did and the support you’ve given us is a different kind of pride. It was a real pleasure to be a part of and I’m just so pleased we’ve helped memories of James live on.

Of course, the charitable effort and kindness of everyone who sponsored has completely staggered me. We are so grateful for the amazing sum of money that’s been raised for Cardiac Risk in the Young – hopefully soon those funds will be used by the charity to continue their extensive research into cardiac conditions and to support the families and friends who have to withstand such trauma at the loss of a young persons life.

This is one big thank you to you all.

Thank you to all the sponsors and donors, you really did drive us on to succeed over the course of the 24 hours and helped us achieve an amazing sum of money for charity.

Thank you to all those who came to our last walk at Sugar Loaf, you created a wonderfully positive atmosphere and a celebration that was fitting for not only the end of our challenge but to remember James. You were all fantastic on the day for reaching the summit!

It was a great turn out from everyone at Sugar Loaf!

Thank you to Barry who drove and sponsored us the minibus and generally kept spirits up when the going was tough!

Thank you to Spence who prepared us food for throughout the challenge and who was a valuable part of the support team together with Simon who also paid for everyone’s meal after a tough climb at Snowdon. These three are true clubman and it was an absolute pleasure for you to be there with us as a calming influence and a source of amusement!

Thank you to John & the Colman family for all your support and good wishes, I’m so happy you gave us your blessing to do this and hope you’ve seen more than ever what James meant to us as a club and friend. We were delighted to do this in his memory.

Thank you to Trev & the Hayes family (the cakes were amazing!) and to Shelley Kingston for supplying food for our celebrations afterwards, it was incredibly kind.

Thank you also to Alan Powell (Big Al) for sponsoring us with our challenge t-shirts, which looked great.

I guess there’s just one more thank you…

The team of Matt, Grace, Sam, Dan, Mike, Jack, Rob, Chris and Verity – you were all superb throughout. I’ve given you a tough time over the last few months but I’m sure it was all worth it as the sense of achievement far out weighs the pain in those legs or the fact I turfed you out of bed on Sunday mornings in all sorts of weather conditions throughout winter. You all did wonderful thing and should be very proud by what you achieved. The fact that hardly any of you had set foot on a mountain before December made it even more impressive! Thanks for taking this journey with me and everything you gave to the cause with your time and effort.

Finally, if there’s just one final thing I wanted to achieve throughout all this was a bit of legacy. As mentioned, the hard earned fundraising will go to a great cause and help those in need most. But this doesn’t mean that your support should stop – we should continue to support each other, be vigilant with regards to our health and look after one another. Raising awareness for what happened to James was always so key to the challenge and I want everyone who has the opportunity to get themselves tested to do so. Let us continue this good work and be leaders in the community for spreading the message – because one thing is for certain, we have the power to do so and we’ve certainly proved that over the last 6 months of fundraising.

As a club, we’ve shown all the good that exists within us, so please don’t stop. Thank you so much again.

Here’s to you Coley, we did it mate.