‘I was so proud of her’ - Brave young fundraiser overcomes nerves to lead Town players onto the pitch

Ellie Kirk, the Young Community Champion, leads the teams out onto the pitch ahead of the Ipswich To

Ellie Kirk, the Young Community Champion, leads the teams out onto the pitch ahead of the Ipswich Town v Sheffield United (Sky Bet Championship) match. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

A young Suffolk girl who braved the cold North Sea to raise funds for the hospice that cared for her beloved ‘Grammi’ - overcame match day nerves to lead Ipswich Town onto the pitch yesterday as the club’s “Community Champion”.

Ellie pictured just before her Valentine's Day Dip in Felixstowe. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Ellie pictured just before her Valentine's Day Dip in Felixstowe. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Ellie Kirk had been selected for the role after her “Valentine’s Day Dip” in Felixstowe raised more than £1,000 for St Elizabeth Hospice.

MORE: Young Ellie to take Valentine’s Day Dip in North Sea in great-grandmother’s memoryThe 10-year-old, from Westerfield near Ipswich, had impressed the club, charity and scores of onlookers with her determination to complete the challenge, despite suffering from a rare blood condition.

MORE: Brave Ellie overcomes crashing waves for St Elizabeth HospiceProud mum Cath Bright said: “She seemed to stride out into the North Sea in February without hesitation but was really worried about going out onto the pitch.

“She was very overwhelmed by the size of the stadium and the thought of 15,000 people being there.

Ellie celebrates after striding out into the cold North Sea. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Ellie celebrates after striding out into the cold North Sea. Picture: GREGG BROWN

“I was so proud of her leading the teams out, and the confidence she showed when talking to Mark Murphy prior to the match.

“I certainly didn’t have her confidence when I was 10 and felt close to tears when she took the match ball to the centre spot.”


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Having overcome her nervous, Ellie told her mum she “wished she could do it all again”.

Ms Bright praised ITFC and its “fantastic” community champion scheme.

Ellie’s fundraising total for St Elizabeth Hospice now stands at £1,080. People can visit her JustGiving page to donate.

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