Town star donates boots to charity

IPSWICH Town and England under-21 striker Darren Bent has donated his football boots to a father who is campaigning to raise money for cancer charities.

IPSWICH Town and England under-21 striker Darren Bent has donated his football boots to a father who is campaigning to raise money for cancer charities.

Graham Lockwood was given just two weeks to live in February last year and has gone on to amaze doctors and raise £79,000 to help others in the region in 20 months.

The cancer continues to take its toll, and Mr Lockwood has now lost his eyesight in one eye and about 60% in the other, but loves life and is determined to live every day he can to the full.

He has committed himself to raising, with the help of friends and supporters who have formed the MAST fundraisers group, £100,000 to fight the disease, at a time when many would understandably focus on their own lives.

Now the Town star has also backed the brave father of two from Mendlesham, near Stowmarket, giving his signed boots to be auctioned off for cancer charities.

Simon Milton, former Ipswich Town star, is a good friend of Mr Lockwood and supporter of the MAST fundraisers and he recently introduced him to the star striker, who kindly agreed to lend his support to MAST by donating a signed pair of his blue Nike football boots for auction.

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The auctioning of sporting memorabilia and other items has added to the considerable sums of money MAST have given to cancer charities in Suffolk and the boots are sure to be much sought after.

Mr Lockwood, a former sales director who is 44 this month, was diagnosed with cancer at 42 and has spent 23 months fighting the disease, with the help of his devoted wife Angie, 45, and their grown up sons Craig and Matt.

Mr Lockwood has already raised tens of thousand for Cancer Research, the Cancer Campaign in Suffolk, and Macmillan Cancer Relief and events are planned every month through the year, including abseiling, a coffee morning, golf day and parachute jumps by supporters.

He said: "It's the family and friends and support around me that keeps me coping. I won't give in, I love life.

"If I did not keep busy and occupied every day, it would do my head in. I am overwhelmed by the response, we have beaten all our expectations, the support is absolutely phenomenal, magic.

"It's tremendous Darren has helped us, it will help raise money and the profile of the campaign. We can't thank him and everyone who is behind us enough.''

There is a reserve of £100 on the boots and anyone wishing to make a bid in excess of this amount should telephone Mr Lockwood on 01449 767763. Bids will be accepted up until 5pm on Friday July 16.

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