Tag Archives: charity

Brave Leeds United Fan Makes Ultimate Sacrifice for Charity – by Rob Atkinson

Brave Darren Forsyth suffers in the name of charity

Brave Darren Forsyth suffers courageously in the name of charity

The remarkable bravery and noble self-sacrifice of a lifelong Leeds United fan drew plaudits over the Christmas holiday, when a deal was agreed which will benefit Wakefield Hospice to the tune of an additional £400 on top of cash already raised. The extra money will be welcomed by the charity – but it will be very hard-earned indeed. For Darren Forsyth, 38, landlord of the Hammer & Stithy in Ossett, West Yorkshire, has had to agree to wear a Man U baseball cap for this coming Sunday evening’s five hour bar shift. Coincidentally, this weekend also marks the fifth anniversary of Leeds’ famous victory at the Theatre of Hollow Myths – when as a third-tier team, they knocked the then-champions out of the FA Cup.

The bizarre charity deal was struck after a Boxing Day raffle in Mr Forsyth’s pub raised £400 for the Hospice. Big-hearted Darren has notable form for fundraising, having helped raise over £10,000 for several charities over the past couple of years, since he has been in charge at the Hammer & Stithy. After the success of the Boxing Day raffle, Darren’s friend – scum fan Phil Hemingway – offered to double the £400 total if Mr. Forsyth would agree to wear a Pride of Devon shirt. Darren was not prepared to sell his pride that cheaply though, and remarked that wearing such a despicable shirt would cost his friend £1,000. An agreement was reached that five hours under the scum cap would be worth £400. Mr. Forsyth is pictured above, with Mr. Hemingway, as donations are handed to Samantha Wood of Wakefield Hospice.

The mind rather boggles at such an outstanding display of self-sacrifice and nobility. Mr Forsyth knows that his ordeal on Sunday will earn him some ribbing from the regulars – but he’s quite prepared to put up with this in such a good cause. “If wearing the hat raises more money for charity, then I’m not bothered,” he said, courageously. ““Me and (Man U fan) Phil always have a bit of rival football banter!”

Rumours that Mr. Forsyth will spend Monday having his head completely shaved and thoroughly disinfected are not be confirmed, but clearly cannot be discounted. It has also been claimed that an additional sum of money might have been raised by the Man U fan Mr Hemingway’s agreement to wear a Leeds United shirt for the duration of Darren’s cap ordeal. Sadly, however, the shirt in question allegedly rotted away the instant it touched the gloryhunter’s skin, so that deal had to be called off.

Those who admire and appreciate Darren Forsyth’s singular act of courage and sacrifice can support his efforts by making a donation to the Wakefield Hospice here.

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Guest blogspot: Close-mindedness by Kate Atkinson

KateKate Atkinson was born in July 1993 in Wakefield, and now lives in York where she is studying Primary Teaching at York St Johns University.  She attended St Wilfrids Catholic High School and 6th Form College, graduating in 2011 with outstanding academic results.  Since leaving St Wilfrids, Kate has spent part of a gap year working as an au pair in Dublin, gaining valuable experience of living independently  abroad.  Closer to home, she gained employment in her home town of Pontefract in a digital processing outlet, before commencing her University course last September.

The article below was originally published on Kate’s own blog, which can be found here. I reblog it now because of its undiminished relevance and unerring accuracy.

I have a very hard time understanding close-mindedness.

In the very early hours of this morning, I was scrolling through my Twitter timeline and was heartbroken to read that Harry Moseley, the 11 year old boy with an inoperable brain tumour, who has campaigned tirelessly to raise over £500,000 for Cancer Research UK’s brain tumour research, has died.

As the world woke up to the news of the loss of this brave little boy, I saw hundreds upon hundreds of kind messages to Harry’s family – complete strangers reaching out to his parents, to support them through their grief. This outpouring of affection for one little boy was to be expected; Harry is widely known for his bravery and selflessness, and his campaign, Help Harry Help Others.

What I didn’t expect, though, was to see something like this.

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Once again, I encounter with absolute horror and disbelief, the twisted opinions of the Westboro Baptist Church.
A few years ago, being somewhat naive about the type of people that exist in this world, I found the website “God Hates Fags“, and honestly thought it was a joke. I was well aware of homophobia, but I didn’t honestly think that communities such as the WBC, with their persistent use of offensive vernacular, actually existed. I was wrong. This is prejudice at the absolute extreme, and I physically cannot stand it.
My discovery of the Westboro Baptist Church opened my eyes to just how extreme close-mindedness can be – but even after realising this, I would never, ever have expected these people to use the death of a little boy to once again force their opinions on the rest of the world.
I could steam on and on for a lifetime about how furious the WBC makes me, and get all worked up, and start swearing and insulting them and cursing them to the hell in which they think the rest of the world belongs. Because I honestly can’t comprehend this kind of cruelty. But a part of me thinks that an angry response is just what they’re looking for.
So instead I respond calmly. Instead of spending my time like the WBC choose to, screaming hatred at everyone they meet, I’d rather have a laugh with my friends. Read an old favourite book. Sit down to Christmas dinner with my family. Wear one of Harry Moseley’s bracelets with pride. Take pleasure from all the things in life that the WBC will never understand: kindness, love, compassion. My life is about my family and friends; I want to be with them and I want for all of us to be happy, and that’s what matters most to me.
I feel sorry for the WBC, because they spend their lives pushing the rest of the world away and building their lives on hate.
Harry Moseley was a bright, kind and determined little boy, who fought the dark with the light and filled people with hope. WBC fight blindly in the dark. There’s the difference. Make your choice.
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 Harry Moseley
2000 – 2011
Rest In Peace