Kidlington have launched a big fundraising campaign after being brought closer together when one of their longest-serving members was struck down by coronavirus. Reports David Pritchard in the Oxford Mail
Secretary David Platt (pictured) spent almost the whole of April in intensive care at the John Radcliffe Hospital. He is now thankfully on the mend, despite a subsequent kidney problem, but the popular figure’s close call had an impact on everyone connected to Kidlington. They have though managed to turn it into a positive.
Like all clubs, the sudden loss of income in the lockdown has caused big issues. And after a football card lottery went well last month, raising money for the Yarnton Road outfit and the Oxford Hospitals Charity, this week they have embarked on something more ambitious.
All six teams, from under 16s to the first XI are undertaking physical challenges – and the £3,000 target was reached within a few days.
Barry Hiles, Kidlington’s director of football, said: “We’re really pleased with how it’s gone. “It’s come from Dave’s circumstances, but this is the most together the club has been in my 15 years here. He’s an integral part of the club and that’s why it’s hit everyone.”
The first team have committed to racking up a total distance of 652 miles – the equivalent of Kidlington to Elland Road, home of Platt’s beloved Leeds United, twice. The development team players have pledged to run 20 minutes on 20 consecutive days, while the A team are in a race to see who can cycle 1000 kilometres first. The club’s younger players are running 5km every day for a week.
Charlie Cassettari, who has played for the club for seven years, said: “I think before Dave was taken to hospital most people at the club didn’t know anyone affected by it. But when you hear of someone you know being taken into intensive care it really hits home. I pulled my hamstring doing the 20-minute run, so I’m walking it now. We’ve all got WhatsApp groups on the go and are sending in photos when we have done the challenge each day. It’s nice to feel we’re together, even if we can’t be at the moment.”
Kidlington are also planning to stage an event when restrictions have been lifted to say thank you to those who have backed them.
To donate, follow this link.