By Rach Griffiths
Crewe Alex Goalkeeper Steve Phillips brought his mammoth 12 months of fund raising to an end last night (July 27th) with a massive end of year party at the popular clubs Carlsberg suite.
Steve and his team of helpers treated a packed room of fundraising supporters and friends to an extravagant evening of entertainment to mark the end of his busy year of supporting two charities which are Caudwell Children and Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.
Last July Steve and his team set out to raise a grand total of 20 thousand pounds for the two charities and we are pleased to announce they have smashed through their target, the total stands so far at £22,500.00 and is still growing as we speak.
Numerous events were organised all over Crewe and Nantwich at a range of venues for a whole year by Steve and his team which have all helped to break the target which Steve originally set of twenty thousand pounds.
On entry we were greeted by Andy Scoffin who was the compere of the evening, he kicked off the event with introducing Steve to the audience where he got straight down to business thanking everyone for being there and being part of such an amazing time of his life which was all about making a difference to people and trying to change lives.
Tracey Washbourne was first up to entertain the crowds, her voice was amazing, everyone sang along with her and she really set the mood for what would be an emotional but happy night on this milestone that had now been reached.
Geoff Thomas, a past Crewe Alex player who made his debut at the club in April 1984 was at this event.
He went on to play for England in the early 1990’s and other clubs up until 2002 at his retirement.
Geoff was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia in 2003 from which he later recovered.
He won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award in 2005, after he raised over £150,000 for the Leukaemia Research charity by cycling 2,200 miles in 21 days, completing the route of all 21 stages of the 2005 Tour de France a few days ahead of the race itself.
He is the Founder of the Geoff Thomas Foundation, a charity that raises funds to fight cancer and his courage is amazing, he told us his story from when he was first diagnosed to when he received the news he was finally in remission.
Geoff now devotes his time tirelessly raising funds for the foundation and he took part in the London to Paris cycle ride this year along with Steve and the Actor Dean Andrews.
Dean Andrews also spoke to us during the evening about his life and fund raising efforts.
Dean is most widely known as the outspoken and sometimes difficult DS Ray Carling from The BBC’s 70’s and 80’s based series Life On Mars and Ashes to Ashes.
He is an extremely lovely man and told us all about how he met Steve and what it was like taking on such an amazing challenge.
He is a keen cyclist and has also taken part in the Bupa Great Yorkshire Run to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Society back in 2010.
It was then time for Dean to head off to the stage where he performed three Songs with local musician Tom Seals playing the piano.
Tom complimented Deans voice beautifully where at the end the crowd gave them both a standing ovation.
Tom began to show a musical talent at a very early age and reached Grade 8 on the piano by the time he was 14-years-old.
He recently compiled an album in aid of Steves Fund raising year where all proceeds will be going to Steves charities, you can order your signed copy of this brilliant album by visiting this page www.pledgemusic.com/artists/tomseals
There was raffle tickets being sold around the venue during the evening and there was also a charity auction which means Steves total is still growing at the time of writing this story.
We will update as and when the totals come in to us.
Mum Lorraine Standring and her son Adam have had a brilliant year following Steve on his fundraising travels and even went to Paris to greet him, Dean and Geoff as they passed that finish line on their cycle ride at the Arc De Triomphe.
The Steve Phillips fundraising campaign hasn’t all been about raising loads of dosh, It has raised the awareness of 2 charities and also disability as a whole. Every penny helps.
I will be forever grateful for the life experiences and friendship both my son and I have gained.
There has been so many truly amazing people involved!
Adam has found some lifetime friends through all of this and has gained some amazing experiences throughout
There was some video clips shown to us which were set to music that featured lots of photos of the last 12 months of the highs and lows of Steves challenge.
Tom put them together so everyone could see all the hard work that had gone into the last year by friends, families and helpers who have all shown an amazing support to those working hard behind the scenes where tonight could not have been possible without them.
Here is a parody video made by Fullerman that brings together the fun of the London to Paris bike ride.
There was a presentation of cheques to the charities where Steves best friends Adam Standring and Alex Grice were joining in with things and supporting their friends on what was a brilliant night for them before they partied the rest of the evening away to the tunes that the excellent SwaY were playing to finish the bumper year off in style.
SwaY have been brilliant and have performed two great gigs for the cause, one on the launch night and the other on the grand finale
Steve wanted to express his thanks to one person in particular who is the amazing Scott Kynnersley.
Scott has been there for Steve during the whole year, he has been balancing his own life, his job whilst busy organising fund raising events all over the place, he has been a great sport and been the key to the advertising, social media, ticket sales and a host of other things.
He has truly been Steve’s right hand man and been a massive help to helping Steve reach his target which has been well and truly broken by kindness and generosity of people, businesses and hundreds of individuals all over the country.
To read interviews taken during the fundraising finale, click on their names below:
Steve Phillips – Crewe Alex Goalkeeper.
Geoff Thomas – Former Crewe Alex player & England International.
Dean Andrews – Actor & BAFTA Award Winner.
Tom Seals – Singer/Songwriter & Musician.
Scott Kynnersley – Crewe Alex Supporters & Steve Phillips Fundraising assistant
Here is to Steve, Dean, Geoff, Scott and all the team for next year as Steve has vowed to do it all over again.
He is now going to spend the next few months concentrating on his football and family life before he kicks off another year of fund raising for 2014!
Good luck to all for next year!
A big thanks to Steve, Dean, Tom and Scott for taking the time talk to us last night.
Special thanks to Steve and Scott for letting us cover the whole 12 months of their cause and letting us be part of something special.
A complete list of thanks to all people involved will appear here shortly along with another interview we did with the representative of Caudwell children
Story ©Rach Griffiths 2013
Pictures ©Jason Griffiths 2013