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Coaches’ close shave brings in cash to fight children’s liver disease


Keeping a cool head is an undoubted advantage as a football manager. Now two of the coaches at Abbeymead Rovers Football Club in Gloucester have much cooler heads than they did a week ago, thanks to a joint head shave which raised £1000 for Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF).

Tim Brennan and Darren Webb, coaches of the Under 10 Pumas were inspired to raise funds for the charity when they heard that three year old William Radford, whose sister, Eleanor plays for the team, had been diagnosed with the rare and serious liver disease, alpha 1 anti-trypsin deficiency.

Tim (left) and Darren with Eleanor and William before they braved the shave.


“It’s a shock to be told that your child has a rare condition you’ve never heard of,” explains William’s dad Neil. “We’re fortunate that William is currently responding well to treatment but Alpha 1 is a lifelong condition and the chances are he will need a liver transplant at some point – we just don’t know when.

“Until his diagnosis, I was also a coach at Abbeymead Rovers but the implications of his condition mean I can no longer commit the time needed. When my colleagues at the club  heard the news about William, however, they wanted to do something positive to help and raising funds for CLDF was the obvious choice. The charity have provided all of us with information and support since William’s diagnosis, including dedicated sibling support for Eleanor. I want to ensure that continues – for our family and for others in our situation.”

The event provided a different kind of spectator sport for the young players!


When the coaches came up with the idea of a head shave, players and parents were keen to sponsor them and local barbers, Connoisseur’s Image and Gentlemen’s Grooming, stepped forward to do the honours. The result was two newly bald football coaches, a great morning’s entertainment for the team and a fantastic £1000 raised for CLDF!

Michelle Wilkins, Head of Services at Children’s Liver Disease Foundation commented: “CLDF is the only UK charity dedicated to fighting all childhood liver diseases, by providing information and emotional support, funds for research and a voice for all those affected. In order to do this, however, we rely on voluntary donations, so we are delighted to hear what  the Abbeymead Rovers coaches have done. What a truly wonderful way to show support and raise funds which will really make a difference to children and young people affected by childhood liver disease.”

A fresh look for the coaches! All photos courtesy of Wayne Tuckwell.

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