Shropshire town shows its love for terminally-ill football club founder

A big-hearted Shropshire man who has cheerfully raised money for a cancer charity despite his own terminal diagnosis has been shown lots of love and thanks by his friends.

Billy Bowering raised more than £1,000 for Macmillan when he had his hair chopped off
Billy Bowering raised more than £1,000 for Macmillan when he had his hair chopped off

Billy Bowering, of Newport, raised more than £1,000 for Macmillan when he had his flowing lockdown locks chopped off, and some of his army of friends and admirers gathered at his bedside on Monday to celebrate his life and say thanks for his selfless fund-raising efforts.

"Billy is the most wonderful person you could ever know," said Danielle Davies, who runs The Swan pub in the town and counts Billy as a much-loved customer.

"He always has a smile on his face despite his terminal diagnosis and the pain he has been in."

Danielle and Billy's son Paul teamed up to give him the ceremonial giant cheque at his bedside, where they were greeted with a warm, friendly smile.

Billy, 86, is a big name in Newport partly also for the work he has done as the founder of the town's junior football club, Nova United FC.

Billy with long hair before the chop

He founded the team back in 1975 to inspire young people to get involved in football and learn to love the sport as much as he did.

On September 5 Paul organised a town-wide reunion to honour his dad and the contribution he made to the town, after the family found out only a few months ago that he was suffering from bowel and colon cancer, which was recently diagnosed as terminal.

Billy ran the football club single-handedly from 1975 to around 1984, when he had help from others to run the popular Saturday morning training sessions.

There was a huge turnout at The Pheasant Inn earlier this month, which Paul said was held in appreciation for all his dad's hard work and commitment to be appreciated while he is still with the family.

Billy is a huge Wolves fan, and Paul said he had been offered chemotherapy but he declined it to have some quality of life for the days he has left.

A couple of professionals have come through the ranks at Nova, most recently England U18 and Shrewsbury Town player, Callum Burton, as well as Paul Bracewell, David Johnson and Adam Proudlock who played for the club before his career with Wolverhampton Wanderers.

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