Barnsley Football Club are proud to have caught up with Reds supporter Luke Whewall upon hearing of his plan to raise much-needed funding for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance service.
On Sunday 17th February, Luke will be undertaking the mammoth task of walking the 60+ miles from the home stadium of Burton Albion right the way through to Oakwell, hoping to make it for kick-off ahead of the rearranged Sky Bet League One fixture with The Brewers on Tuesday 19th February.
As we all know, the original fixture was abandoned after Barnsley FC matchday volunteer Stephen Croft suffered a cardiac arrest just before 3pm on the afternoon of 22nd September 2018. But with the terrific efforts of staff from both clubs, the medical professionals on duty and the swift response of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance team, Mr Croft was airlifted to Sheffield Northern General Hospital.
Everyone at Oakwell is right behind Luke as he looks to raise money for a service that is close to the hearts of all associated with Barnsley Football Club. He explains below his motivation for the planned walk and we are delighted to share his story with you.
Following the unfortunate events at Oakwell last September, when long-serving Barnsley Football Club volunteer Stephen Croft suffered a cardiac arrest prior to kick-off against Burton Albion, I decided that I would walk the 60-odd miles from Burton’s Pirelli Stadium to Oakwell before the rearranged game, to raise money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Nobody goes to a football match expecting never to return home, yet that was a possibility were it not for the swift response by the medical staff of both Barnsley and Burton, and the actions of the medics on hand and Air Ambulance, which ultimately saved Mr Croft’s life.
What struck me the most was the fact that the cardiac arrest happened to a long-term club volunteer, someone who has selflessly contributed to making unforgettable memories for Reds fans over the years. Personally, some of my earliest memories are centred around Barnsley Football Club; from learning to play football on the astroturf next to where the academy now stands (an education that, sadly, didn’t result in an eventual call-up to the first team), to my first match, a 5-0 home defeat to Birmingham City (immediately hooked, nevertheless), there have always been good, generous, loyal people behind-the-scenes and in the stands who are the beating heart of Barnsley Football Club. It is in part due to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance that we didn’t lose one of our own on September 22nd.
Since scheduling the walk, starting in Burton on Sunday 17th and ending at Oakwell on Tuesday 19th of February, I have been humbled by the generosity of friends, family and colleagues, and fans from both clubs. This support transcends football and shows how giving and kind people can be. It is this, along with the life-saving efforts of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, and the contribution that Mr Croft and others like him have made to the club, that will motivate me to complete the challenge. This is my opportunity to give something back.
Donate and help Luke reach his fundraising target: CLICK HERE
It's easy to donate simply by text:
Text the code COYR87 with the amount to donate to 70070
You are also able to add Gift Aid at no extra cost.