Last Saturday afternoon saw friends of schoolboy Liam Dunne do a sponsored run at Keepmoat Stadium in memory of their friend.Friends of inspirational fundraising schoolboy Liam Dunne who died of cancer, put on their onesies for a sponsored run around the Keepmoat Stadium last Saturday afternoon in memory of their friend.
Liam was the bravest, strongest and most inspirational young man you could wish to meet who had a love and passion for Doncaster Rovers Football Club as well as onesies!
On 9th March 2012 Liam and his family’s world collapsed. Liam was diagnosed with Rhandomyosarcoma, a malignant form of cancer which causes tumours in the soft tissue and muscles.
After being diagnosed Liam had a number of operations and underwent extensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments to try and beat his illness. Although he fought bravely to the end, Liam finally succumbed to his illness and died on 30th May 2013, 2 days after his 12th birthday.
In memory of Liam, a group of 32 youngsters zipped up their onesies for a sponsored jog around the pitch during half time at the Doncaster Rovers v Sheffield Wednesday game.
Their efforts are expected to have raised more than £1000 for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, where Liam spent some of his final days before his death last year.
After being interviewed and having a photo-shoot by a reporter for The Star and Doncaster Free Press, the children entered Keepmoat Stadium and were welcomed by the club mascots Donny Dog and Erik the Viking.
This was followed by Doncaster Rovers players Jordan Binns, Liam Wakefield and Josh Meade, who kindly took the time to have photos with the group and sign their match tickets.
The children were then fortunate enough to take part in shirt shaking prior to kick off.
It was a cold and rainy afternoon but this didn’t dampen the children’s enthusiasm, and at half-time when the moment arrived for them to do the run it was as if by magic the rain stopped, the sun came out and a rainbow appeared! The children were led out of the player’s tunnel on to the pitch, where they started their 2 lap run around the pitch. They received a fantastic reception from both sets of supporters who showed their support and gave the children lots of encouragement.
All of the above made it an incredible experience, with some quotes from the children on the day being… “it was a great way to remember Liam”, “I can’t believe Rovers have made this happen, they are great”, “it was amazing, I felt so proud doing this in Liam’s memory”, “I want to carry on raising money for the charities that helped Liam”.
Liam’s Mum, Joanne Hobson told how family and friends arranged the event following Doncaster Rovers captain Rob Jones visiting Liam at home while he was undergoing treatment.
She added: “Bluebell Wood and Doncaster Rovers arranged for Rob Jones to make a surprise visit to see Liam at home, shortly after they had been crowned League One Champions.
“Liam was so surprised and in awe of Rob, it brought a huge smile to his face and made him forget the pain that he was in, even if it was only for a short amount of time. We are so grateful for this visit to have taken place to make the dreams of one boy come true."
On the days events she added: “Liam would have been amazed at the turn out today and that they are all still carrying on his charity work. He is up there smiling.”
Anna Gott, fundraiser at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, said: “I’d like to thank Joanne and her family as well as Liam’s friends for continuing to support Bluebell Wood.
“The courage Liam showed during his battle with cancer was incredible and he raised a significant amount for charity too. The Onesie day was an amazing way to honour his memory- well done from everyone here at the hospice!”
All the money that the children raised in sponsorship and on the day will be donated to Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice. They are a fantastic charity and this fundraising will make such a difference to the families using the facility, helping them get the support that they need to get them through difficult times.
The day was a huge success and everyone at Doncaster Rovers would like to congratulate Liam’s Warriors and Bluebell Wood on a fantastic event in the memory of Liam.
The children are welcomed into the stadium by Donny Dog and Erik the Viking!
Children then receive a special visit from Doncaster Rovers players Jordan Binns, Liam Wakefield and Josh Meade.
Liam Wakefield signs autographs for the children
The children were also fortunate enough to take part in shirt shaking before kick off
At half time the children took part in a sponsored run of 2 laps around the pitch.
Congratulations to all who took part!