A Sunday League football team has raised over £3,000 in memory of West Bridgford youngster Dylan Rich, who sadly passed away after suffering a suspected cardiac arrest whilst playing for West Bridgford Colts during an FA Youth Cup game in September 2021.
The Knights decided to take on the Welsh Three Peaks Challenge – climbing Snowdon, Cader Idris, and Pen y Fan in just 24 hours – to raise money and pay tribute to fellow footballer Dylan after the tragic incident last year.
Nine current and former players took to the hills of Wales, completing the gruelling 17 mile hike and 7,657ft ascent in just over 16 hours, with the help of two dedicated drivers.
The club’s current fundraising total stands at £3,280, with the funds to be donated to Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), a charity who aims to prevent young sudden cardiac deaths through cardiac screening and research, as well as providing specialist support to affected families.
James Pegg, player and Chairman said:
“We are blown away by the support of the local community. The club set out to raise £1,000 from this challenge. To have raised over three times that is incredible.
“The untimely passing of Dylan is simply devastating. First and foremost, our thoughts are with their families and loved ones.
“We are truly proud to be able to hand over such a significant donation in Dylan’s name, and hope that it can help to save lives in the future.”
The club were supported heavily by local businesses on their journey to the Welsh summits, with club sponsor Lesley Butlin Therapeutic Services working closely with the team to ensure the self-organised trip ran without a hitch.
Leicestershire based AM System Ltd, another business with close ties to the club, generously covered the club’s fuel and minibus hire, as well matching the first £1,000 of donations.
Luke Maxted, player-manager said:
“It’s very telling of how much this cause means to the community that we had no shortage of volunteers to support us in our challenge.
“I’d like to thank everyone who donated, took part, organised or contributed.
“I can say on behalf of every single one of the lads that the sore legs the morning after were well worth it. We are pleased to be able to support such a worthy cause.”
According to CRY, 12 apparently fit and healthy young people in the UK die suddenly from a previously undiagnosed heart condition every week – a statistic that is still believed to be something of a conservative estimate.
In 80% of these cases, there will have been no signs or symptoms of a heart defect.
West Bridgford Knights now hope to hit a new fundraising total of £3,500, which would cover the costs of cardiac screening for 100 young people.
Chief Executive of the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) Dr Steven Cox said:
“On behalf of all of us at CRY, I would like to say a huge “thank you” to everyone from West Bridgford Knights who was involved with this amazing – and hugely challenging – recent fundraising event.
“Whilst screening won’t identify all young people at risk, in Italy, where screening is mandatory for all young people engaged in organised sport, they have reduced the incidence of young sudden cardiac death by 89%.
“CRY now tests over 30,000 young people each year, aged between 14 and 35, and since the CRY Screening Programme was first launched (more than 25 years ago) over 225,000 young people have been tested. One in every 300 of the young people that CRY tests will be identified with a potentially life- threatening condition.
“Anyone who’s interested in booking a free screening or finding out more details about an upcoming local event, can do so at www.testmyheart.org.uk.”
To donate or to find out more about West Bridgford Knights’ challenge, click here.