Town on the ball for charity

Huddersfield Town's Mark Lillis and Robyn Deegan with Paul Gowland of the Yortkshire Air Ambulance.

Huddersfield Town's Mark Lillis and Robyn Deegan with Paul Gowland of the Yortkshire Air Ambulance.

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High flying football fans have helped a charity net £750,000 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and the Huddersfield Town Academy.

The Keep It Up campaign was launched by the Terriers four years ago, with the bulk of the money raised through three Pedal for Pounds cycling events.

And the club hopes that this year’s riders will take it to the magic £1m mark.

The yearly fundraising total has been increasing since the campaign’s inception back in the summer of 2009, with the initial year’s figure of £120,000 climbing to £251,514 in year two and £340,000 in the third year. 

Several large events have been the stand-out fundraisers for the cause, with the Pedal for Pounds events leading the way.

In three years, the number of participants have increased from the initial 22 that cycled from Huddersfield to Southend in 2009, to 290 who will take part in this season’s tour of Yorkshire ending on the last day of the season for the home game against Barnsley.

Walk for Pounds also raised an impressive £27,000 in March 2011 as 180 fans strode 27 miles from Huddersfield to Bury, while the total from a second walk from Huddersfield to Barnsley earlier this season is £16,000

Run for Pounds – a 10k run around Huddersfield in March 2012 – also topped the £20k mark, and less athletic events such as Town’s annual Christmas Celebrations at Wakefield Cathedral and Halifax Minster and the ‘Bag It Up’ recycling campaign have contributed more than £30,000 each to the cause.

Town’s supporter partnerships manager Robyn Deegan praised Town fans for their contribution to the cause.

“We’re delighted that we can confirm three quarters of a million pounds has been raised for the ‘Keep it Up’ campaign – the target of £1 million is getting ever closer,” she said.

“The Yorkshire Air Ambulance must find £7,200 per day to keep its two helicopters in the air and it’s fantastic to think that the generosity of Huddersfield Town fans has helped to save lives across our region – that makes all the effort of individuals and the club worthwhile.

“Similarly the Huddersfield Town Academy gives players the opportunity of a career in professional football .

“You simply have to look at our current First Team to see the benefits, with the likes of Alex Smithies and Jack Hunt playing such big roles in our promotion and the current Championship campaign.

“I’d like to thank everyone that has made a contribution to the campaign on behalf of the Club.”

To donate to the ‘Keep It Up’ campaign, please visitwww.justgiving.com/keepitupcampaign or text KIUP99 £5 to 70070.