Hockey player raises over 30k for charity

Ben Edwards with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Brett Garrard
Ben Edwards, England U16 Girls Assistant Coach took on a challenge for 2016 which was to raise as much money for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity by running a minimum of two miles a day. He has managed to raise over £30,000 and counting to help fight cancer. Ben shares his story with us. 

"In July 2015 we found out that our friend Greg had got a tumour in his abdomen. This was devastating news. A close friend hit by this disease and you can't do anything to help. Several complications meant that they didn't have the recovery they were hoping for. 

Upon finding out that Greg's cancer was terminal it made me think that I wanted to take on a challenge, not only to raise money to find a cure for this horrendous illness but also to make Greg proud of me. He was an inspiration to me throughout his illness. His bravery and courage have been incredible but I am very proud to have known a person who has displayed such a strong character throughout this tough time. He inspired me to be a better person by the strength he showed and I want to keep running to bring awareness to people about this disease.

I always feel Greg's presence by my side when I run and I wanted to give something back to him. Hopefully in time, other people will be spared the pain and suffering that Greg has had to go through. Sadly on Sunday 7th February, Greg lost his fight to this horrible disease.

Greg was only 41 years old and has left a beautiful wife and daughter behind. I was keen to do a challenge in his memory and have done just that. I have raised over £31,350 for the charity and finished running on 31st December 2016.”

Ben is touched by how much support he has had for this challenge. Great Britain gold medallists Giselle Ansley and Georgie Twigg, Chelsea players John Terry, Asmir Begovic and Gary Cahill and Chelsea legend Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink all joined him. So did local side Surbiton Ladies 1st XI and many, many more. 

Ben Edwards Run Surbiton

Ben’s highlight of the year was on June 8th.  To mark his friend’s birthday, people all over the world joined together to run, walk and show their support for Ben. He even had two people doing a Skype run from New Zealand and England. 

“It meant a huge amount to have the support of so many people from within the hockey family. At times the hockey family is very small in terms of you know everyone but at other times it seems so big in terms of people there to support you.  At a conservative count I ran with people from over 25 clubs, internationals from 6 countries, as well as two of the most capped players of all time in Barry Middleton and Brett Gerard.

“The hockey family are amazing in their support and the messages I received through the year kept me going. At dark times these messages as well as remembering why I was doing this were so important. At low points there was always someone offering to run.

“For the last run on New Year’s Eve I had over 200 people turn up to run, many of whom were members of the hockey family.” 

Ben is determined to raise as much money as possible for the charity and is touched that people have been so generous already. He has raised £31,350 to date is keen that the figure continues to rise. He ran 1018 miles through the year and had more than 525 people donate. If anyone would like to donate, you can do so through the just giving page
 
Ben would like to thank all of the hockey family for their continued support and all at England Hockey would like to extend their congratulations to Ben on his fantastic effort!