I haven’t missed a Leicester City game for 4 years. There’s been some highs and lows, from promotions and cup runs to appointments and sackings but on Saturday 17th November I’ll be missing my first game.
Former Foxes club chaplain Richard Gamble and I will be running The Bangkok Marathon connected in a giant Leicester City shirt. We’re trying to raise as much money as we can, which in this difficult economic climate is very difficult so thank you to everyone who’s kindly donated.
The charities we’re raising money for are the LCFC Foundation and Sports Chaplaincy UK. Richard is Chief Executive Officer of the latter, a role he took up as he left Leicester City after spending years helping the club as a chaplain.
I’m not a religious person and never felt I’d have a need to spend time with a chaplain, it was very ignorant of me and I’m glad he took the time to explain that his job isn’t to force religion on anyone but to simply listen and offer help.
He kindly invited me round to the family house to watch an England game during the World Cup in 2010; I was expecting a couple of the lads to be there to watch the game. There were 2 bouncy castles, 2 BBQs and about 100 (no exaggeration) people, I made a friend for life that day. We rarely talk ‘work’ we’re just friends, it is great to have a friend who’s one of the best listeners in the world (that said, running next to him connected for 6 hours is going to be a test for us both).
Football Club Chaplains assist people within a club (not just players) in the strictest confidence with any issues they may want help with. Pastoral care is a large part of the job and some of the money we raise will go to helping the charity with maintaining the current levels of chaplains in UK Sport and even adding to their numbers.
Forget all the glitz and glamour of the game, including the money, the people in this business are exactly that, people, and they work in a high pressure environment where having someone there to listen really can help ease tension and build a safe and healthy workplace.
He encouraged me to run The London Marathon earlier in the year and helped come up with the idea of this epic. We’ve trained together, fund-raised together and been equally as dedicated…..well, him putting warm water into an ‘ice-bath’ didn’t go down very well.
We leave for the 13 hour flight on Wednesday 14th November and will be trying to run 26.2 miles in 30 degrees and 80% humidity on the Saturday night (8pm the night of the Ipswich home game if you want to send us some positivity).
If you can, please sponsor us. We appreciate your support.