Suffolk fundraisers meet Ipswich Town stars ahead of trek to Kathmandu
PUBLISHED: 17:28 29 April 2016 | UPDATED: 17:28 29 April 2016
Two fundraisers from Suffolk have met with the Ipswich Town squad - after a chance encounter with a good friend of club boss Mick McCarthy.
Framlingham duo Henry Dunham and Sam Crimp begin a 6,500-mile trek to Kathmandu in Nepal next month as part of Annie’s Challenge, to raise funds for brain cancer research in memory of mother-of-two Annie Hughes, Mr Dunham’s sister.
Mrs Hughes, from Framlingham, passed away aged 29 on March 7 after being diagnosed with astrocytoma in July.
During training for the challenge earlier this year, which will take the pair through a number of countries before reaching Nepal, they met Dave ‘Woody’ Wood in the Peak District.
The pair were carrying a camera, which intrigued Mr Wood and he asked what they were doing.
Mr Dunham said: “We had a chat and explained and he said ‘you don’t happen to support Ipswich Town, do you?’
“The next thing we knew he was telling us he was friends with Mick McCarthy.”
After watching the squad train at Portman Road ahead of Town’s home game against MK Dons on Saturday, Mr Dunham said: “I never expected to hear from him. He said he’d spoken to Mick who was really happy to get us guys down.
“We’ve had a lot of offers of help but rarely do people follow through – but Woody has.” The pair spent time talking with first-team players and manager McCarthy after watching the preparations for Saturday’s game.
Mr Crimp, who is a season ticket holder in the lower tier of the Sir Bobby Robson stand, said: “It’s amazing – we couldn’t believe it.
“I just wanted to join in – it’s great to watch them train.
“The players were all pretty surprised when we told them about it. It was good to have a word with them and speak to Mick.”
Both of McCarthy’s parents died from cancer.
“While speaking to the pair he sent his condolences to Mr Dunham and added: “Out of something so sad is coming something so positive.
“We’ll also have a beer after the game – we’re happy to help.”
Speaking about Woody, who will also be joining the pair for a drink after the game, McCarthy said: “He’s just that kind of guy – inquisitive, full of life. He’s been my mate for 30 years.”
Mr Dunham and Crimp both thanked the club, PR manager Jade Cole and McCarthy for making the visit happen and wished the team good luck for Saturday.
Speaking about the challenge, Mr Dunham said: “The thing about cancer is its a global problem.
“Mick was saying how every family is touched by it at some point. We’re walking 6,500 miles across a number of countries to reach out to everyone.The more people we can help out, more money and the closer to beating cancer we are.
“You never know at what point it will be enough to beat it which is why we need as many pounds as possible.”
For more information on the challenge visit www.kathmandu-it.uk