Owls fan reached his charity goal

Friends and family of 66-year-old man helped him to visit all the professional football clubs in the area before he died of cancer.

Thursday, 12th January 2017, 5:25 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th January 2017, 5:26 pm
Sheffield Wednesday fan Pete James with his nephew Aron, daughter Sarah and her partner Lee. Pete was 66 when he died of liver cancer. It was his dying wish to see all the professional football clubs in South Yorkshire before he died.

Lifelong Sheffield Wednesday fan Pete James was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer in June.

Before he died Pete, of Brinsworth, decided he wanted to raise money for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice in Sheffield by walking to all the professional football clubs in South Yorkshire.

His family and friends helped him achieve his wish when they completed a 50-mile walk on December 16, which started at Rotherham United and included stop-offs at Doncaster Rovers, Barnsley F.C and Sheffield United before finishing at Sheffield Wednesday.

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Pete died aged 66 just six days later, but his family said he was “overjoyed” that he was able to cheer them on at the start and finish of the challenge, which raised £7,200 for the hospice.

His daughter, Sarah James, who took part in the walk, said: “He was ill towards the end of November, he was determined to get to the start and get to the end because he wanted to see what was raised. It was one of his final wishes.”

“We spoke to my dad about the charity. He had liver cancer, although he was diagnosed with liver cancer, he wanted to help children - he said he was alive at 66 but there are children who have life-limiting illnesses and who had not had the best start. He wanted to help people.”

Joining Sarah in the walk was her partner Lee Pickering, Pete’s brother Richard James, his nephew Aron James and friend’s Chris Brailford, Liam Shutt, Neill Radford and Neil’s dog Buster.

The walkers took 19 hours to complete the walk, which they called ‘Pete’s Walk’. They walked through the night, ending their challenge at the pitch at Sheffield Wednesday where they posed for pictures on the Hillsborough pitch with club captain, Glenn Loovens.

Clubs that the group visited gave their full-backing to the challenge and also donated merchandise such as match tickets and signed footballs which were then auctioned off to raise money for the hospice.

Sarah, aged 39, who is an administrator at Wales High School, Kiveton Park, Sheffield, said: “People really got behind it and have been brilliant - in particular Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday were really supportive.”

If you would like to donate towards towards the walk visit www.justgiving.com and search for Pete’s Walk.