Football-mad Burnley youngster dribbling 20 miles in 20 days to help feed struggling families in town

A football-mad little boy from Burnley was so upset when he found out that other children in the town were struggling to get enough food during the lockdown he decidced to put his skills to good use.

By Dominic Collis
Tuesday, 5th May 2020, 12:30 pm

Seven-year-old Oakley O'Connor, who trains at both Manchester United and Burnley Football Club's "Pre Academies", decided he wanted to help St Matthew's Church in Burnley, which is collecting cash and food for families who are struggling.

Oakley's proud mum Bethany told the Burnley Express how he had dreamed up the idea of raising sponsorship money by dribbling his football 20 miles in 20 days.

Bethany said: "We're very proud of Oakley. He was upset when he heard that some children and their families were struggling to get enough food during the lockdown. We heard that Rev. Alex Frost at St Matthew's Church and Pastor Mick Fleming were trying to help this situation and Oakley asked if he could help.

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Oakley (7)

"He loves football and so decided he would dribble his ball for one mile every day. He has a Fitbit which records the distance and on the first day he dribbled from our home in Pasturegate down to St Matthew's Church.

"He's been taking his ball on our daily exercise and also been doing it in the garden at home. He's already raised £1,000 and he's still 18 miles to go."

Oakley, who attends St John's Primary School, Cliviger, also plays football for Junior Hoops Saints Under-7's in Haslingden, and is now hoping more people can sponsor him.

To support Oakley visit