FOOTBALL fans put their best foot forward to help two Abingdon women raise hundreds of pounds during this month’s Race for Life.
Sarah Mckenzie and Vickie Wyatt ran the 5k event in Oxford’s University Parks on Sunday, July 13.
The pair had initially hoped to raise just £50 from family and friends, but ended up smashing their target by 750 per cent – with the unexpected help of Tottenham Hotspur fans.
Mrs Mckenzie’s husband Ian – a Spurs fan – posted a message about their efforts on a fans’ forum and was shocked to be inundated with pledges from complete strangers.
He said: “I asked online friends at shelfsidespurs.com, a non-profit football forum, if they could donate a pound or two towards their cause.
“We were flabbergasted when the lads all started sponsoring with £10 and £20 donations.
“One gave his £55 winnings from a World Cup sweepstake.”
In just 48 hours, fans had donated more than £300, bringing the total to £370.
Along with the money came moving messages, with one fan posting: “Ken is my stepfather who was diagnosed with lung cancer caused by asbestos back in January.
“Unfortunately it is terminal, but what your wife is doing will help thousands of others to get better. You should be extremely proud.”
Mrs Wyatt, 38, a housekeeper at Premier Inn, said: “I can’t express how grateful I am, they are such wonderful people.
“I was absolutely speechless.”
Mrs Wyatt, mum to Adam, 17, and Harriet, 10, added: “Cancer’s affected a few friends of mine.
“It needs to be tackled and research is very important because so many people are affected by it.”
Mrs Mckenzie, mum to Lewis, 14, and 10-year-old Bradley, said: “I’ve always wanted to do it and this year I just took the opportunity.
“A lot of the forum members’ families have lost people from cancer, and they were willing to donate. It’s absolutely fantastic.”
Mr Mckenzie said: “I’ve been a Spurs fan all my life, because when I was a kid I nearly stepped out in front of a car and a Spurs fan pulled me back and saved my life. I saw the crest on his shirt and just chose them.”
He added: “I’m absolutely an Oxford United fan as well – our family are nuts about them.”
Cancer Research UK is urging the women who ran the race to send in their sponsorship money.
The charity hopes the July 13 runners will have raised a total of £350,000 to fund research into 200 types of cancer.
- For information on how to return sponsorship money, or to make a donation, visit raceforlife.org