Sam gets to hold Premier League trophy at school

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FOR many teenage boys, lifting the Barclays Premier League Trophy would be a dream come true.

As part of a fundraising drive to pay for Sam John, 16, to have life-saving treatment abroad, many Neville Lovett pupils came one step closer to that coveted trophy.

CHAMPION Sam John holding the Premier League trophy at Neville Lovett School. Picture: Allan Hutchings (13835-838)

CHAMPION Sam John holding the Premier League trophy at Neville Lovett School. Picture: Allan Hutchings (13835-838)

When Barclays heard about a drive to raise £100,000 for Sam to have radiotherapy in the USA to stop an inoperable brain tumour from growing, they were only to willing to help out.

Chris Doyle, branch manager at Barclays in Havant and a community governor at Sam’s school, Neville Lovett, said: ‘When I heard about the fundraising campaign, I knew that we could get hold of the trophy as we sponsor it, and thought we could bring it on board to do some fundraising.’

Pupils, teachers and members of the public were invited to the school and for a donation, they were allowed to have their picture taken next to the trophy.

Two security guards were enforcing the strict no-touching rule, although when Sam came to see the trophy, they made an exception.

With white gloves on, Sam tentatively held the trophy with its blue and white ribbons, something only Manchester City can do at the moment.

Sam said: ‘It’s really insane especially as hardly anyone has ever lifted it before.

‘It’s amazing. I’m really surprised that they have got the trophy here as well. So many people have come and shown their support it’s humbling and amazing at the same time.’

Around £20,000 has been raised so far.

The fundraising pot was boosted by hundreds of pounds by the trophy event, plus Barclays pledged to match all donations made on the day.

Sam’s teacher Neil Edwards said that he is busy organising a sponsored teacher headshave to add to the kitty and, depending on the amount of money raised, a possible leg wax.

He said: ‘Sam’s a fantastic guy, he’s got so much motivation and so much humour.

‘It’s the least we could do.’

Helen Whale, communications officer from Neville Lovett, said: ‘We’ve had people come into the school office off the street and ask who they make a cheque out to. It has been lovely.

‘We do support charities but this is something that has brought the whole community together.’