Updated: May 20, 2020
UPDATE 20/05/2020 - https://www.readingcityfc.co.uk/post/an-update-from-graham-neale-1
UPDATE 02/05/2020 - https://www.readingcityfc.co.uk/post/an-update-from-graham-neale
Reading City Football Club is proud to be backing Graham Neale from Caversham who has set himself a challenge of doing 1000 ‘keepy uppys’ without the ball touching the ground (within five attempts) to raise money for the Royal Berkshire Hospital here in Reading, during the coronavirus pandemic.
Graham is raising money for the Royal Berkshire Hospital, he told us the staff “are doing a fantastic job” but need more PPE. Graham also added that the challenge has given him something positive to focus on during the lockdown.
Graham's auntie sadly passed away last weekend having tested positive for coronavirus and he said that “made me more dedicated to try and do it now”. Graham also told us that he was inspired by Colonel Tom Moore’s fundraising efforts which saw the 100-year-old walk 100 lengths of his garden raising nearly £33 million for our National Health Service.
Back in 1994, Graham took part in a similar challenge where he tried and succeeded in doing 2000 ‘keepy uppys’ to raise money for RBH’s children’s ward, he raised a total of £505, but this time he hopes to raise £5,000, so far he has raised £840 of his target, you can donate here.
Graham began training for his challenge on April 17 but prior to that he told us hadn't kicked a ball in two decades and could only manage three ‘keepy uppies’. he's now training for four to five hours a day, which has meant he has been able to 1000 ‘keepy uppies’ three times. However, Graham added it has been hard work and he still has a long way to go as he wants to be able to achieve this number consistently. He also told us that listening to music has helped him find some rhythm and do more ‘keepy uppies’.
Graham is hoping the event can be held at Rivermead Leisure Centre on May 9, as that's where his first challenge took place 26 years ago. He hopes the UK will be out of lockdown by then.
Our Media and Communications Manager Ryan Sheehan had this to say on behalf of Reading City FC:
"The first we heard of Graham Neale's challenge was on Monday 27th April when our Under 23s Manager, Deano Jones, who is an old school friend of Graham's told us about it and wanted to see if the club would get involved. After internal discussions, our Chairman Martin Law gave the green light for the club to back Graham's campaign as here at Reading City Football Club we pride ourselves on being a part of the community and what better way to connect with our local community than supporting such an amazing cause, whilst doing our bit to thank the amazing NHS workforce who are doing a sterling job in these difficult times.
On Wednesday we provided Graham with a Reading City FC kit as we lend our support to his challenge and will be actively promoting his challenge on our social media channels, we are also pleased to announce that our principal sponsor's Parkers Properties will also be backing Graham's challenge.
With our large social media following across several platforms, we hope to help Graham hit his target of £5,000 and we ask that you please give what you can.
Graham from everyone at Reading City Football Club we wish you the best of luck and thank you for helping our NHS".
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