New Ferry Rangers FC have raised over £4,000 for Tranmere Rovers’ food parcel initiative, with one individual in particular going above and beyond to help generate funds.
Players, coaches and members of New Ferry Rangers have been taking on the ‘New Ferry to New York’ challenge, which has involved either cycling, running or walking to reach a mileage target of 3,300- the distance between the aforementioned locations.
With this in mind, a fundraising benchmark of £3,300 was set.
One individual who was keen to get involved is 38-year-old Anthony Davies from Rock Ferry, who has refused to let his personal circumstances get in the way of his fundraising efforts.
Anthony suffers from a rare condition named Friedreich’s ataxia, a muscle-wasting illness that predominantly affects co-ordination, balance and speech.
Though unable to carry out his exercise in the same way that others have, Anthony successfully clocked up the distance of a marathon (42.2km) on his hand bike at home over a period of five days.
Explaining why the 38-year-old was so interested in playing his part and how getting involved has had a positive impact, Anthony’s father, Tony, told the ECHO: “He’s always wanted to give something back because when he was younger a lot of people did things for him. He was diagnosed at six-years-old with Friedreich’s ataxia, the youngest in the country at the time. People did things for him and he’s always wanted to try and give something back: we saw this as the chance to do it.
“Although he couldn’t do a marathon running, I bought him a machine a couple of years ago to prevent his knees from solidifying, and it has an arm movement as well. We had the idea for him to do the equivalent of a marathon, with his arms, over a period of days. I thought it would take him eight days, because he’d never done more than 20 minutes on the machine. The first day, he did his hour and got 7.1km.
“I sit with him while he does it, and the effort he has put in is amazing. He has changed himself in the last week. He has been depressed: lockdown to him has been like the last 25 years of his life. This has put him up and he’s like a different person. He’s smiling and laughing.”
Although Anthony struggles to complete day-to-day activities such as eating and showering, Tony has expressed his pride at the attitude shown by his son while completing his mammoth journey on his exercise bike.
“Anthony been in a wheelchair since he was 12 and we were told that he wouldn’t live to be 15,” he said.
“He can’t do anything with his arms and legs at all, unless it’s motorised, and his arms are pretty much the same. He couldn’t feed himself or pick up a cup of tea, so he is in the severely disabled bracket.
“He doesn’t stop on the machine; he just keeps going until the buzzer stops and it’s the end. I do have to be there in case his hands slip out of the gloves."
As a result of the money raised by New Ferry Rangers, Tranmere Rovers can continue to offer a helping hand to those most affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
The Whites have distributed in excess of 500 food parcels to vulnerable individuals currently unable to leave their homes, with the club making a real difference in its community once more.
Anthony and Tony are both Tranmere supporters and recognised the importance of supporting their local side.
“Up to the age of 12, Anthony could walk and was a mascot at Tranmere at the age of nine. I’ve got six kids and I think they’ve all been mascots at some point,” Tony told tshe ECHO.
“I think it’s brilliant, what the club are doing. It’s not like some of the foodbanks that are receiving large donations from Asda, this is based on monetary donations which are then used to go out and buy things. People will put the food in their cars and drive off to a number of places. It’s really important that the people who need it, are helped. The fact that the volunteers are there every day shows that the club are going in the right way, not only as a club, but as a community too.
“It’s about making money for the foodbank, but we’ve got our own little thing out of it because Anthony’s mental health has improved,” he concluded.
To make a donation to New Ferry Rangers’ fundraising challenge and support the work being done by Tranmere Rovers, please visit: www.gofundme.com/f/newferrynewyork