Going that extra mile in memory of footballer

Charity walk for the Ross Smith Foundation, setting off from Jeremy's at the Boathouse, Brighouse
Charity walk for the Ross Smith Foundation, setting off from Jeremy's at the Boathouse, Brighouse

Walkers put their best foot forward to raise funds for a charity set up in memory of a footballer who lost his battle with cancer.

The walk was held in aid of the Ross Smith Foundation, which was set up following the death of the former Brighouse and Clifton junior football player.

Ross, 27, who lived in Shelf, died last year after a nine-month battle with kidney cancer and the foundation now helps to support other local young adults with cancer.

And despite the rainy weather, crowds still turned out to enjoy the day.

Beginning in Brighouse, the group, led by Jim Peck, made their way through Wellholme Park, Clifton and Hartshead Moor.

Dave Kerridge, of the foundation, said: “It was a good day and everyone enjoyed it, there was around 50 of us which was a few more than we expected.

“People from the ages of four to 76 were involved in the walk and we probably raised around £400, with all the events we have topped more than £10,000.

“The reason we went through Clifton and walked through the football ground is because that is where Ross started playing football, so it was quite a poignant moment.

“We’d like to thank everyone who came along and we’re now focusing on building it up for next year.

“The main thing is building up the foundation and our objective is to keep on raising money.”

Ross, a former pupil of both Lightcliffe Preparatory School and Bradford Grammar School, was diagnosed with kidney cancer in May 2013.

The charity stands as a tribute to Ross’ positive attitude towards life and his love of sport.

Ross played for Huddersfield Town Academy, Halifax Town Academy, Brighouse Juniors, Bradford Park Avenue, Shelf United, and Brighouse Town.

He then progressed to Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina for four years from 2009, where he spent much of his time playing football and representing the college as captain of the senior team.

The next big event for the foundation will be a charity auction dinner, held on September 19 at Brighouse Sports and Social Club. To buy a ticket, visit the Ross Smith Foundation Facebook page.