Turf team raises £25,000 for Pendleside Hospice

A team of eight runners from Burnley FC’s commercial department has raised an amazing £25,380 for the Gail Simpson Memorial Fund for Pendleside Hospice.

Headed by Turf Moor’s commercial director Anthony Fairclough, the team ran the Pennine 10k in Burnley on Sunday and later presented the cheque to Gail’s husband Alan at the Kettledrum Inn, Mereclough, Cliviger.

The runners were Anthony, Carl Sanderson, Chloe Simpson, Jez Minihan, Dale Robins-Bailey, Nick Taylor, Gary O’Neill and Darren Bentley.

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They were supported in the race by Fitness Experience gym owner Jamie Kennedy and promotions consultant Lisa Durkin.

Out of the group, media manager Darren Bentley was first past the post in 1hr 1min.

Anthony, who lost more than two and a half stones in the build up to the race, said: “Towards the end of last year we decided to run in the Pennine 10k and raise money for a charity.

“Around the same time a friend of mine Gail Simpson passed away and her family launched a memorial fund for Pendleside Hospice.

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“So we decided that was the charity we would raise the money for and we pledged £10,000 – 10k in the 10k.

“Since then the amount has just climbed and climbed.”

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Anthony and his colleagues raised the money through sponsorships and other ideas.

Initially they opened a page on Just Giving.

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And then backed that with a variety of fund-raising schemes.

Anthony said: “We contacted every Premier League club who supplied us with a signed shirt.

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“We auctioned them as a set on Ebay and raised £4,200.

“The buyer then asked us to re-auction them and we raised another £5,000.”

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Clarets director John Banaszkiewicz donated £1,000 and offered another £1,000 if the team averaged 1hr 10mins which they did.

And last year’s shirt sponsors Fun88 gave £10,000.

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The runners were also supported nutrionally by My Protein, the club’s nutrition supplier and Razzmatazz of Colne provided their running gear.

Anthony added: “We are also auctioning a turnstile from Turf Moor and when the auction closes whatever it fetches Barnfield Construction have said they will double the amount.

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“And we are also hoping to auction a signed shirt cricket shirt belonging to James Anderson who everyone knows comes from Burnley.

“The total we raise could eventually reach the £30,000 mark.”

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Gail’s husband Alan said: “The amount Anthony and his colleagues raised was mind-numbing.

“I had prepared for £10,000 which was massive in itself but to raise more than £25,000 is totally unbelievable.

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“I would like to thank Anthony and his colleagues not only for their efforts on the day of the race but for the sheer hard work and determination they have shown for the last six months.

“When we launched Gail’s memorial fund we set a target of £10,000. It has already passed £35,000 and we still have a couple of big events coming up. We intend to round off the appeal on Friday, September 25th, when we will be holding a gala dinner at Turf Moor. Tickets will be going on sale shortly.

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“Every penny raised goes towards Pendleside Hospice which costs £3,800,000 a year to run of which £2,700,000 has to be raised through voluntary contributions.”