A HEARTFELT thank you has been issued from dynamic fundraiser Tony ‘Touchline’ Male after he smashed his target.
Touchline Tony, whose nickname comes from his role as a compere at Fratton Park, has raised more than £42,000 for the Oakley Waterman Caravan Foundation in just over a year.
Tony undertook a range of activities, culminating in his 25th Great South Run last month, after he was inspired by former Pompey player Dave Waterman, whose six-year-old son Oakley died in 2005 from a rare from of cancer.
Dave and his wife Lorraine, from Gosport, set up the Oakley Waterman Caravan Foundation in Oakley’s memory, offering respite breaks to families with children suffering with similar life-threatening illnesses.
Tony said: ‘Well the year of fundraising is over, my 25th Great South Run is complete and it’s now time to announce that we didn’t meet our £25,000 challenge.
‘Instead, we absolutely smashed it and raised £42,500.
‘This is a completely amazing number and beyond my wildest expectations and it’s all down to everyone’s support and outstanding generosity.
‘I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you who has helped me over the course of this year.
‘You may feel you did very little, but I know that without each and every one of you we wouldn’t have reached the goal, never mind smashed it. So, from the bottom of my heart, a big thank you to you all.’
Dave said he was ‘incredibly grateful’ for Tony’s efforts.
He said: ‘It is incredible and it takes the pressure off us for the next year ahead. We’re grateful. He’s a great guy.’
Tony said he’s now turning his attention to organising a match at Portchester AFC, which will see Pompey Legends take on Glasgow Rangers Legends, in memory of soldier Lee Rigby on April 18.