Peterborough referee tackles Three Peaks challenge for coach Gary Willard

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The group will summit the three highest peaks in the United Kingdom

Josh Smith, from Bourne, is part of the 25 referees who are set to show their support for coach Gary Willard and raise money for Leukaemia Care.

Wanting to stand in solidarity with Gary, who is currently undergoing treatment for blood cancer, the group got together and chose to embark on the ‘Three Peaks Challenge’ this summer.

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They will also be joined by support staff, climbing to the summit of the highest mountain peaks in Scotland, England and Wales in 24 hours.

Select Group 2 referees pictured with Leukaemia Care CEO.Select Group 2 referees pictured with Leukaemia Care CEO.
Select Group 2 referees pictured with Leukaemia Care CEO.

The gruelling challenge will begin in the early hours of Wednesday, 7 June in Scotland and finish the following day in Wales.

‘We were all devastated’

Speaking on behalf of the group, called Select Group 2, referee James Linington, said: “Since 2016 when Select Group 2 was formed, we have supported local and national charities every year as we understand and recognise the important work they do day-in, day-out.

“One of our coaches, Gary Willard, has been crucial to our individual and group successes, and we were all devastated to hear recently that Gary had been diagnosed with Leukaemia. We wanted to show our solidarity and support for him so it was decided we would take part in a group fundraising event, all in aid of Leukaemia Care.

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“This momentous challenge will most definitely be a real test of character for the group and we will need to rely on our resolve and resilience to complete this once in a lifetime opportunity for such a good cause.”

Gary said: “When I heard that members of the Select Group 2 referee team and support staff had decided to take on the 3 Peaks Challenge in aid of Leukaemia Care, I was both delighted and grateful to them all.

“Leukaemia Care is a fantastic charity, supporting those diagnosed with the disease along with their families. I would like to wish everyone taking part the best of luck and to thank them for being such a great bunch of friends and for all their ongoing support.”

The group of 25 referees will be ready for kick off on Wednesday 7 June. You can show your support by sponsoring them here.