Just Jordy @jordannejoyce92 @riversidebeds

Seven time Grand Slam Champion, Paralympic Bronze Medal, World Number ONE doubles and an all round good chapess….!

Wimbledon Champion (doubles), US Open Champion (singles), Japan Open (doubles), Australian Open (doubles) French Open (doubles) and US Open (doubles) and now MBE ….!!

We’d been chatting with Jordanne and her management team 17Management for a little while, and were extremely keen to meet with her and to have her support for our campaign. What eventually came together was something far beyond our expectations.

So there we were at Bedfords’ leading tennis club Riverside Tennis Club, a leader in disability tennis in the County. Banners and Balloons ready, members of the club, coaches and fellow wheelchair tennis players eagerly waited. In fact, Jordanne was in the cafe with Ellisa and I, I even took a cup of tea to Bedford Mayor Dave Hodgson…!

Out we then went, and what a fantastic reception for Jordanne. The club had put together a range of Disability tennis showcases, from wheelchair tennis, visually impaired tennis and Learning difficulty tennis. It truly was inspiring.

Now, lets just say we saw Bedford Mayor take part in the warm up routine, then Jordanne took part. Suffice to say, Bedford Mayor Dave Hodgson would not make the speediest doubles partner, but fair play, he gave it a go …!

The day was all about raising awareness of disability tennis and of course Thrombosis UK, the day was very well attended by a wonderful mixture of players, supporters, coaches and old cricketers (that’s me)…!

After Jordanne took on and beat club inclusion coach Richard she took time to answer questions from the visitors.

At the end of the day, Jordanne took time to have photo’s with the players and coaches. What a super star she had been.

We then popped down to a favourite cafe of ours Kiosk at the Park to have some glorious cake, a great coffee and a chat. It’s an interesting existence that Jordanne has, her passion for tennis, competition, her doubles partner Yui Kamiji and her desire to succeed even further in her game. We talked about how through the help of 17 Management she is able to continue her career, but the need and desire for further support and sponsorship is vital. Organisations like Fish InsuranceKT Tape and Adidas to name a few get so much in return, it’s was just wonderful to be able to support raise the awareness of such an amazing talent that is Jordanne in fact it was a pleasure.

Please have a look at Jordanne’s website and show your support, she is one amazing individual who we should all be proud off…!

Jordanne Whiley 3 Jordanne Whiley 1 Jordanne Whiley 2 Jordanne and Bedford Mayor Bedford Mayor Jordanne Whiley

@Martin_Corry at a cricket match signing an oar ….! Yep, that combination happened …!

Lets see now …. Martin Corry MBE, a Leicester Tiger, England Captain, Lions, Part of the squad that won the Rugby World Cup in 2003. As pedigree’s go, that’s not too shabby is it?

So when a chap approached this giant of rugby (and quite literally a giant, and I’m not short myself..!) and sat down and started chatting about Thrombosis I’m sure he thought “how bizarre….! then again I’ve seen stranger things at Twickenham” (this statement may or may not be true).

What a top chap he is. We chatted about the 2003 World Cup, team mates, the fitness and size of present players and awareness within sport of DVT’s and Thrombosis. It appears that the sport of Rugby are very well versed with the awareness and treatment of blood clots amongst their players.

With players now travelling the globe for international games, and in light of the nature of the game, such awareness and care of players, support staff, officials is imperative.

I just wanted to put these few words down to say thank you to Martin for his time and for supporting our campaign. The Charity Oars are all about raising awareness of Thrombosis UK and the amazing work that the charity undertakes. Your support is extremely welcomed.

Martin Corry Martin Corry

@AlexandraBestx what a wonderful person ..! Thanks @LexiPrLtd

So we arrived at a rather nice hotel in Wimbledon, took a gentle stroll towards the orangearium trying to look inconspicuous whilst carrying an 8 foot wooden oar. Having made it safely past various pieces of art on the walls and having safely avoided a rather expensive piece of furniture with rather old looking plates in, we walked into the room.

“Act casual Paul” I thought…..” “Try and blend in ….” you know, the usual things one thinks as one gets the whiff of luxury and elegance and when one is carrying a wooden oar….!

“You must be Paul” came the words from behind a very comfy looking couch. Then up popped the head of Alex Best, with a warm smile.

So I casually made my way round, after nearly performing a modern interpretation of Eric Sykes “the plank” only now with an Charity Oar (boy can the staff at the Canizaro hotel duck quickly) I safely made it to the couch…!

So I ran through the Charity Oars campaign and chatted about the work of Thrombosis UK I like to believe I sounded very sophisticated and suave, nothing like sitting chatting with a rather glamorous lady, and trying to make it look as if you belong there…!! lol…..!!

As we chatted, it turns out that during his career the rather legendary Irish chap who played football for Manchester United, a chap by the name of George Best, had suffered a DVT during his playing career.

George Best aside, it was Alex we were there to meet and to spend time with. Now, Alex had been in and won I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. In all honesty I only knew this because I was told by a friend of mine. Sorry Alex, I’m not a huge follower of reality programmes, but I was hugely impressed and in awe of someone like Alex who donated the prize for winning the programme to charity. A hearty salute of pride goes out to Alex.

So we chatted away and time flew by. We were also joined by an amazing business woman from LA Skincare who Alex is now the rather natural brand ambassador and face of. I must admit, I learned quite a lot about skin care, moisturising and exfoliation, I now have the smooth complexion of a gorgeous chap….!

I would just like to thank Alex for her time and support for our campaign it really means a great deal to us. It was also jolly nice to just chat away with such a warm and wonderful person.

Alex Best Alex Best

The Name is Gordon, Gordon Greenidge need we say more ….. a @westindies legend

There was a recent quote made by David Gower and it was something along these lines; “We had a glimmer of hope at Lords in 1984, unfortunately Gordon Greenidge had other ideas…!”

As a huge fan of the West Indies cricket squad, there are several legends that it’s always amazing to meet. Brian Lara, Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh, Michael Holding, Joel Garner, Viv Richards and for me also, Gordon Greendige.

So there was Gordon, how would he take this crazy English chap saying “Hello, can we have you sign the Charity Oars?” I remember the look of puzzlement on Kumar Sangakkara’s face when I had him hold the Charity Oar for a photo, and now I was about to ask yet another cricketing legend to do the same.

What an amazingly cool chap Gordon Greenidge is. Oar signed, picture quickly taken, then bats signed ….! Then we chatted and chatted. Subjects coved; Thrombosis (of course) cricket, Michael Holding, Brin Lara, the Caribbean, cricket and charities. The only time we stopped chatting was when we were photographed by the Stamford Press, my new chum Gordon seemed a tad annoyed, but it soon passed and we continued our chat.

It was an absolute pleasure to have time with such a legend of the game, his passion and enthusiasm for the game, for West Indies Cricket, for his old team mates and for our campaign was inspiring.

Now I’m no international cricketer, but when Gordon Greenidge was bowled out by the team from Help for Heroes Cricket, it was a full pitched ball, it bounced twice (taking a lot of speed off the delivery) and then clipped the off stump. Maybe in 1984 at Lords the bowling attack should have thought about that as a delivery?

Thank you Gordon for your time, a great pleasure to meet and chat with you. Thanks for your support.


Gordon Grenidge 1 Gordon Grenidge 2

Some @HarryPotterFilm magic with @James_Phelps (thanks to @deanheadley585 )

One of the first sporting chums of mine, Dean Headley started the Charity Oars moving forward. Seems a long time ago now. Each year Dean supports a weekends cricket supporting the Matt Hampson foundation, and we’re very proud to support the event by attending the days cricket. We very diplomatically keep a low profile (never easy seeing that we’re 2 eight foot wooden oars…!!) but the event is all about raising awareness and support for Matt’s great foundation.

This year Dean kindly asked us along and we were more than pleased to accept the invitation. This year we had the opportunity of meeting one of the stars of the Harry Potter films. Yes, the tall, entrepreneurial ginger wizard Fred Weasley was in attendance.

What a great chap he is. it’s fair to say he’s better with a broomstick and wand than maybe a cricket bat, but he had so much time for those that were there to say hello to him. It is always wonderful to see the kindness in people as muggle after muggle have selfies with him…! He never stopped smiling all afternoon, even after a horrific cross bat slash at a straight ball…!

It was wonderful to have time to chat with James and to talk about the Charity Oars campaign, and very much appreciated to have his support. It truly means a great deal to so many people, so thank you.

Here’s to SportsBash 2016, wonder who we can chat to then?

James Phelps James Phelps

@Gilo @LancsCCC #Ashes2005 Cricket Legend thanks for your help @NorthantsCCC

Cricket, cricket, cricket…. Where would I be without the game? Well I might still have 2 working knees, ankles, shoulder and a few less scars and funny shaped bones …. Pure semantics …..

In the time we’ve been working on the Charity Oars campaign on behalf of Thrombosis UK I’ve been able to chat with some amazing sportsmen and women, and it has truly been a pleasure.

I’ve been a supporter of Gilo for far too many seasons. His time at Warwickshire CCC was always good fun to watch, as for his England form, all we really need to say is Ashes 2005…! In 2005, he was named as one of five cricketers of the year by Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, he hit the winning runs in the fourth Test at Trent Bridge to give England a 2–1 lead. He contributed a Test-best 59 runs and a century partnership with @KP24 to ensure the draw in the final Test at The Oval and a 2–1 series victory.

Our good friends at Northampton CCC have been fantastically supportive this year, and kindly invited us to the Lancashire 20/20 game. We’d dropped Gilo a message and asked for a few minutes of his time during the game. As Lancashire came out to bat over popped the Ashes winning slow left arm bowler, with a cheery smile upon his face (probably hoping that this was in fact a Charity Oar and I wasn’t a nutter who didn’t know the difference between a cricket bat and oar).

A true gent as always was Gilo, am sure that he still owes me a beer from a game at Edgbaston, but I let that pass. It was wonderful to have a few minutes with Gilo and to talk about the Charity Oars campaign and what it was all about.

So thank you from a very dodgy, a tad broken aged wannabe cricket legend to someone who has accomplished so much in the game, and is now imparting his expertise for the future of the game.



Ashley Giles Ashley Giles

@matthewcpinsent one day we will laugh about Henley 2015 …! (I hope)

Sir Matthew Pinsent CBE, 4 Olympic Gold Medals, 10 World Championship Gold Medals, a fine chap indeed, and someone who can be relied upon to deal with a tricky situation with a certain aplomb…!

I’d been messaging Sir Matthew Pinsent for a while, to have such a true sporting legend associated with the Charity Oars and our campaign could only be a positive. To try and find time in his schedule was always going to be a tricky thing, the man never seems to stop….! Then up came this years Royal Henley Regatta, he would be there, I could get there, what could possibly go wrong?

Some good friends of the Charity Oars very kindly invited us to the Stewards Enclosure, suitably attired, hood down on the car on such a sunny day and off we headed to Royal Henley Regatta 2015. Now, lets just say finding parking is tricky, luckily for yours truly there’s a cricket ground nearby, a couple of cheeky calls on the way, eh voila, parking sorted…!

Now as I said, it was a hot day, I was driving and I had work to do. So I hobbled with my dodgy leg towards the Stewards Enclosure, checked my tie was done up, top button done up, jacket on, phone off, so I walked towards the entrance, me, dressed accordingly, a briefcase, and 2 eight feet wooden oars with lots of signatures; “good morning I said, smiled nicely, walked into the enclosure….” Dare I undo my top button now? No Paul, enjoy the day, lets not cause a scene.

What a beautiful setting, and what a wonderful atmosphere. It was wonderful to be there and to be part of such an historic event. So off I went, found a comfy chair in the shade, ordered a coffee and some chilled water, handed over a handsome amount of the Queens currency and took in the atmosphere.

A quick message to Matthew, saying “HI Matthew, am here enjoying the days rowing. Let me know when it would be convenient to catch up, look forward to chatting later” (it’s OK to text in the Stewards enclosure by the way). In a way it was actually nice not having the phone ringing away all of the time, and to be able to listen to what’s going on and to enjoy the day. A reply came through “can we meet at 6pm?” No worries thought I, gives me 3 hours to sit down, do some charity work for Thrombosis UK, Charity Oars and for my Committee work for NICE.

A gentle stroll around the enclosure, smiling at anyone and everyone, caught a brief glimpse of Sir Steve Redgrave running past, a cheery “Hello…..!!” was sent in his direction, I even got a cheery wave and smile back.

So this is where things went a little bit awry. I found a lovely spot in the shade, 3 hours until we meet Sir Matthew Pinsent, read various documents, write a few words, relax, meet Matthew, have a chat, get the Charity Oars signed, offer my thanks, head to the car, drive home, day complete and successful.

“What are THOSE..!…?” I looked up, “I repeat, what are THOSE?”


“What are they doing IN HERE…!..?”

“Oars at a Regatta?” I questioned, politely, a little bit confused.

“As I said, what are they doing in here?”

“We’re here to meet Sir Matthew Pinsent, he’s kindly offered to sign the Charity Oars …… ” I continued speaking as the chap in the hat strode off with these wonderful words filling the air … “we shall just see about this story shan’t we..!”

Well I did say it went a bit awry. Suffice to say Mathew was summoned down to vouch for my faux pas.

As the Steward continued with his concern that I appeared to have committed something akin to having not stood during the National Anthem, I had to laugh as Matthew did say “well he couldn’t have smuggled them in could he?”.

Well Matthew kindly assured the Steward that I had genuinely just walked in with the Charity Oars and lap top and that I had meant no direct insult to the history of the Royal Henley Regatta.

I was able to get a very quick photo of the Olympic legend and he also very kindly signed the Charity Oars, I was then escorted from the Stewards Enclosure, all just a little bit bemused.

This all happened in July, I now hope enough time has passed so that Matthew won’t send the Queens Cavalry to Cambridgeshire to have me arrested for treason. On the plus side, it has made a wonderful after dinner tale.

For my part, I would like to thank Matthew so much for his time during such an important event, I was more than willing to wait until 6pm to meet him. Maybe next time we meet we can have a chat about our campaign, until then, sincere apologies for any distress that was caused, but thank you for your time and for your intervention with the Steward.

Matthew Pinsent

@RevRichardColes from 80’s rock to Parish Vicar, and now …. a supporter of @charityoars

Yes it’s true what they say, Dachshunds are little creatures with a lot of energy built into tiny legs. Not too sure who actually did say that or whether anyone ever had (until now). As we knocked on the vicarage door, the sound of tiny feet running in excitement and barks (from rather low down) filled the outside air. As the door opened, a warmer welcome we had never received from canines and a vicar.

We had travelled to meet Richard Coles, one half of the 1908’s group the Communards. Since the 1980’s Richard has built a life as a Parish Vicar, and the people of Finedon are very lucky to have such a champion of all things community and caring.

We had asked Richard if he’d kindly support our campaign for Thrombosis UK and we’re pleased to say he agreed with such a passion. It’s always an interesting thing to meet and to discuss the journey that had taken me to travel around the country with two 8 foot wooden oars, but as we sat there chatting away, enjoying a very fine coffee (and the lovely E also partook of a bonbon…!) it was sad to hear how Thrombosis had raised it’s charming medical condition into the life of one of Richards’ old school teachers life. An innocuous knock on their leg, is all it took.

Talk did go onto his time with Bronski Beat and then the Communards, I fought with every fibre of my body not to start tapping my feet as I hummed the tune to Don’t Leave Me this Way (far too much goes on in my head sometimes and I have been known to start humming out loud when I truly believe the sound is still inside my head), I think Richard might have noticed, as he politely pointed out the gold disc on the wall…! lol…!!

The support of such iconic and popular personalities means a great deal to our campaign, on a selfish level it helps us reach a wider audience a lot faster and in a way that ensures every penny we raise goes to support those who have suffered from VTE, Pulmonary Embolism and DVT’s, it also goes further to help support those who have sadly lost loved ones because of the condition, and just as vital, every penny goes to developing a better understanding of the condition and the treatment of Blood Clots. I also believe that in the role that Richard now plays in his community, his understanding of Thrombosis UK and the work that Charity Oars are undertaking might well at some point help support, comfort or be the awareness of Thrombosis that can be passed on.

So from an 80’s toe tapping, awful dancing, dreadful singing, poorly attired fan, thank you so much for your time.

Richard ColesRichard Coles 1Richard Coles 2Richard Cole

@iandstone a funny chap with a penchant for signing strange things ..!

So there we were, heading to the St Ivo centre to be entertained by the visiting jesters, myself, 2 charming female chapesses and a Charity Oar. I mean what could possibly go wrong? Surely many people go to comedy nights with glamorous women, I just added a twist to the evening by taking an 8 foot oar with me #asyoudo

We’d been in contact with the compere a local Ginger Irish chap who goes by the name of Ryan McDonnell @ryanemcdonnell so up we strolled, smiled politely at the lady with the tickets “act normal Westers…!” I thought to myself, if you can get two 8 foot oars into Westminster, surely one Charity Oar into a comedy club would be a piece of cake.

Naturally, being the shy reserved sort of chap I am I took it upon myself to sit at the back, just out of view of the stage, and hopefully the compere and forthcoming servants of the art of comedy.

OK, in hindsight maybe I should have told the lovely E and charming S what I had done. Of course they are both sadly only too aware of my penchant for organising different social scenarios, so taking one of the Charity Oars out that evening, rather bizarrely wasn’t too out of the norm.

It soon became apparent that the good people of St Ives found the fact that there was a chap at the back of the hall with a blooming big oar rather amusing, I took it all in good humour (no pun intended, but Ryan was a rather good host). It was amusing to see (and hear) 200 people turn round in their plastic seats on a wooden floor to observe this mad chap with an Oar. The good thing is, most of them looked very confused anyway before they turned round…!

So on came Ian Stone, now humour (quality humour) is tough, I was genuinely laughing out loud at the set he performed, it was one of the cleverest and most intelligent sets I’d heard for a long time. So thank you Ian. Making a miserable git like me laugh takes a lot of talent and intelligence.

So before the compere came back on I made my exit to catch up with Ian. Of course he too was wondering about the whole Charity Oars story, quite tricky to make a massive pulmonary embolism humorous, but I think I faired OK. Of course I’ve always felt I was a natural comedian so I’m pretty sure he laughed all the way to his next gig…!

If you get a chance to see Ian at work, it’s well worth the entrance fee, or you can catch him on various television and radio shows. I believe he’s the straight guy to Ian Wright comedy showcase….! #thismayormaynotbetrue

So thank you for your time Ian, and for making the day a lot less grey than usual …!

For more information about Ian Stone and where you can see him, please visit his website here

Ian StoneIan Stone