Many thanks Craig Doyle for your kind support
With his cheeky Irish voice and the charm of a chap from one of my favourite European cities it was a pleasure to meet Craig yesterday and to have him sign the Charity Oars. It means a great deal to the campaign and to raising awareness of DVT’s, PE’s and Thrombosis when people like Craig spend a few minutes chatting about why @charityoars #charityoars is taking place and what we hope to achieve. It’s fantastic to have the opportunity to talk to people and to be able to raise awareness of the life threatening condition.
With over 500,000 dying each year (which is more than those who sadly pass away with breast cancer, prostate cancer, aids and highways accidents together) it is important that we raise awareness of Thrombosis, DVT’s and Pulmonary Embolisms.
So a huge thank you to Craig for taking the time out of his busy schedule to chat about the charity oars campaign and to sign the #charityoars
Whilst spending some time at BT Sports Studio, I had the pleasure of meeting the scrum half, fly half, full back and wing legend that is Austin Healey. On the rugby pitch there’s not much Austin hasn’t been successful at with 237 caps for Leicester Tigers, 51 caps for England and 2 caps for the Lions.
Rugby aside, Austin also took to the boards in the 2008 Strictly Come Dancing competition reaching the quarter finals.
It was really great to meet such a genuine person and to have a few minutes to chat with him about the charity campaign and what we hope to achieve.
So many thanks to Austin for taking the time to sign the Charity Oars and to helping us raise awareness of DVT’s PE’s and Thrombosis.
Martin Bayfield English former rugby union footballer who played lock forward for Northampton Saints, Bedford Blues and England, gaining 31 England and 3 Lions caps.
I also remember Martin from working out of Greyfriars Police Station (still there amazingly) but mostly from his days playing at Bedford Rugby Club where his first two England caps were recorded.
At 6 foot 10 inches, Martin not only made a daunting presence on the beat, the pitch and most recently on the big screen as Hagrid’s body double in the Harry Potter films.
An absolutely cracking day yesterday in London. So much so, not even the wind, rain, hailstones, grey clouds and a cabbie who could talk for England could put a dampner on the day. So after picking one of the #charityoars up from Boris Johnson, I headed east to the BT Sports Studios. Again a man with an 8 foot oar on the District Line does get a few looks and a few questions. I quite like it as it gives me the chance to talk about #DVT’s #PE’s and #Thrombosis also I get to talk about the great work that Lifeblood do.
On arrival at Stratford I took one of London’s finest modes of transport “the talkative taxi”….! Was OK really as I enjoy a good chat as well, on the downside when we were stuck at some traffic lights I was keeping an eye on the meter and wondering just how near I would be able to get to the studios for my last £10…!
On arrival I was signed in and escorted by a BT Sports chap and a rather nice and bubbly lady, again, the oars were quite the talking point. During our brief journey in the lift, I asked what the BT Sport Chap did there, he explained. I then asked our other lift companion (the aforementioned nice and bubbly lady) to whit she replied “one or two things”. As we walked in to the main office people stood up and went “hello, it’s great to see you again…!!” and a few other such accolades of respect, part of me thought “that’s nice of them, even though I’ve never been here before..!” but I took the praise anyway.
Then off to the infamous green room I went, on the way my guide said “Hasn’t she done some amazing things for Sport Relief..!” I realised then the praise wasn’t for me, slightly crestfallen I asked “who is she?” Turns out the aforementioned “nice and bubbly lady” was the rather lovely Helen Skelton @HelenSkelton we’re now BFF…! lol I have of course since apologised, I have been reprimanded and educated by family on “how to recognise someone from the television who didn’t play cricket or rugby…!” On the plus side, Helen has also offered to sign the #charityoars so everyone is a winner.
The Green Room:
Sat at the table were Martin Bayfield, Austin Healey and Craig Doyle discussing the days rehearsal and show. The 3 of them took time to chat about the campaign and to listen to the reasons behind why I’m so passionate about making the whole campaign work. It was a pleasure to meet them and for them to take the time to sign the Charity Oars as well as the cards.
So with Charity Oar in hand I departed back to Kings Cross for the delight of a First Capital Connect journey home…!
Again, many thanks to everyone I met yesterday and for all those that have commented and supported us so far on Twitter.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of a trip back into the fair city of London. It’s fair to say that First Capital Connect tried everything to make the day as difficult as possible, but I’m a stubborn so and so and I had work to do…..!!
After a 2 and a half hour train journey, I jumped off the train at Kings Cross. I say jumped, a bit of an over exaggeration if I’m being honest, was more of a stretch, make an old man’s noise and then try and get the old legs moving again (whilst maintaining poise and an air of sophistication). No easy task I tell you…. Sorry, I digress ….
A gentle stroll from London Bridge down the Embankment and then into City Hall and out of the rain. After going through the scanners I introduced myself to the receptionist again. The worrying thing was she said “you’re the man that brought that big oar with you”. Now, I’m going with the fact that I have a lovely face and a great personality, of course on the flip side I might just have been “that crazy chap who walked round London with an 8 foot pole…!”
Anne (from the Mayors office) popped down (she was easy to spot as she had an 8 foot oar with her). So the Mayor of London, the rather jolly and far too clever Boris Johnson had kindly signed the Charity Oars. So a big thank you to Boris for his support
Well my cheery chums, I wanted to scribe a few words which I hope will raise an understanding as to why the whole Charity Oars campaign is so important to me. Was 3 years ago yesterday I originally injured my knee, 3 years ago today I was mis-diagnosed. Now I like to think I don’t blame the doctor concerned, that would be a little bit of an untruth…! The reality is, if he had of done his job correctly on this day in 2011, none of what has happened since that day would have taken place. Yep, I might still have some “issues”…!
As I sit here in the old village sweet shop though, I do ponder a lot (maybe I should do more work and less pondering maybe?) If what eventually happens to me on the 12th April 2011 hadn’t of happened, I wouldn’t have been able to diagnose the DVT the lovely E had after our RTC, I wouldn’t have been able to mentor and support new sufferers of DVT’s and PE’s, the Charity Oars wouldn’t be in existence and by raising awareness of the life threatening and rather silent killer who know who might be made aware of a DVT or PE.
So, please tell as many people as you can about our little adventure, you never know whose life you might save.
Good morning my virtual chums…!
We’ve had yet more offers from sportsmen, women, television stars, government ministers offering to sign the #charityoars It’s still early days and we have a long way to go, but we’re still getting noticed (which can’t be a bad thing..!)
So we have Martin Bayfield, ex England, Northampton and “Bedford Blues” player, and ex town centre policeman from Bedford. Martin has kindly agreed to sign the Charity Oars.
Then there’s the amazing Mel Nicholls @Dolly2racer Paralympian, 1500m world record holder (T34) and all round great chappess..!
Added to the list of sporting heroes we then have the wonderful Jade Jones @jadejones11 Paralympian in the 400m, 800m and 1500m
Then we have Amran Hussain @AmranHussain he’s one of those political chaps (they’re not all bad you know..!)
We still have a lot of work to do, and I will continue to push ahead. Of course if there’s anyone you can introduce the #charityoars to we’d love to hear from you.