Telford cricket umpire John says ‘thank you’ to wellwishers
A Shropshire cricket umpire who has lung cancer has so far raised £1,200 towards his efforts to stay in the sport.
John McIntear launched a appeal to cover the cost of a bespoke electric wheelchair costing about £8,500 and a mobility motor to transport it to matches across Shropshire where he is well known in the sport.
The Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm veteran, of Telford, has so far been offered assistance in grant funding and in kind to acquire a suitable vehicle, but also needs financial support to cover the costs of the powered wheelchair and safety equipment.
An online Go Fund Me appeal with contributions by18 donors has so raised £1,200 to help him stay duty at the crease.
Mr McIntear, 61, said: "The response has been tremendous so far. The Royal British Legion has got on board and is helping to source fundraising through other military charities.
"I know some people are probably finding it hard at the moment, but we are still looking for funds.
"It will cost about £6,000 for the van and adaptations for it including steps, and I'm expecting it to be delivered just after Easter.
"The wheelchair is costing about £8,500 and there will be a contribution towards the price of the chair, but I still need to match fund some of that.
"I've had fundraising support from the folks at the Lych Gate Tavern, in Wolverhampton, who have so far donated £250 and who are continuing to support me, and the Shropshire Association of Cricket Officials which made a substantial donations which is fantastic. I'm very grateful to everyone for what they are doing."
He also praised Telford & Wrekin Council for carrying out adaptations to an access gate at his Madeley home in preparation for the arrival of the wheelchair.
Mr McIntear, who can no longer stand up for long periods due to his health issues, explain how the appeal had reunited him with old friends.
"Due to social media I have been reunited with school pals from the Royal Hospital School, in Suffolk, where I was a pupil. I have seen one particular friend for 45 years," he added.
"Now the old boys' association is doing something to help me too. It's been amazing.
"I have had people stopping me in the town centre just encouraging me to continue umpiring. I believe that I'm unique in this respect. As far as I'm aware there's no sport official carrying out duties using a powered wheelchair.
"The main message I want to get across is that even if you have a disability or have ill-health you can participate in sport or some other activity."
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