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Acker passes £100,000 milestone for Weston Park!

Dedicated Doncaster husband and father of two, Acker Shaw, has passed a £100,000 fundraising milestone for Weston Park Cancer Charity in memory of his beloved wife.

"If I can help someone in some way by doing what I’m doing, that’s what it’s all about. Because I know that I’m eternally grateful for what Weston Park did for Brenda.”

Acker Shaw, from Rossington in Doncaster, has more than doubled his original target after dedicating his life to Weston Park following the sad passing of his wife, Brenda, from breast cancer in 2000 at the age of 52.

He initially aimed to raise £52,000 for Weston Park – £1,000 for each year of Brenda’s life. But, after comfortably passing his target by 2018, he has now set his sights on going even further, by adding £1,000 for each year of his own life to an overall fundraising goal of more than £125,000.

Rossington-based Acker has fitted his fundraising efforts around a visit to Brenda’s grave at Rose Hill Crematorium every day since she passed away, to take flowers.

With the support of local communities and with the impressive profile he’s built for himself and his fundraising over the years, Acker now aims to go further and give even more back to Weston Park.

“The most precious thing you can give to people isn’t money. It’s time,” said Acker.

“My life isn’t over, but the life I wanted is gone. But if I can help someone in some way by doing what I’m doing, that’s what it’s all about. Because I know that I’m eternally grateful for what Weston Park did for Brenda.”

Acker’s work over the years has included attendance at thousands of local football fixtures across the region, including at his local clubs Rossington, Armthorpe, Parkgate and Maltby. He has been as far afield as Bridlington, North Ferriby and Retford and many, many more – too many to mention, however Acker is thankful to them all.

People all over South Yorkshire and beyond have given generously to Acker’s cause – and all donations, large or small, have made a difference to others who, just like Acker, have sadly been impacted by a cancer diagnosis.

“I’d like to think Brenda would be proud,” continued Acker.

“I was just so lucky to have her. I was the luckiest man on earth and then I was the unluckiest man on earth when she passed away, God how I miss her.

“At the beginning (of his fundraising) it was hard, but now the response from the football community has been amazing. The Northern Counties East Football League and the Central Midlands Football League and all the clubs have been brilliant and so supportive.

“I’ve been to 112 games, four a week on average, this season alone – I could be here half an hour just telling you the places I’ve been and the stories I’ve heard.

“I don’t always go for the crowd, I go to meet people – but of course if there’s a big crowd it helps.”

Anyone associated with Weston Park often feels a deep, personal connection to it – and Acker is no different.

“To me, Weston Park kept my wife alive for an extra five years. Without it, who knows what might have happened. I’ll always be grateful for the care and treatment she received.

“When I mention Weston Park, people say ‘oh you don’t want to go there’. But to me it means you’re helping people. There’s no personal glory in it – I just want to put something back.

“It’s like planting a tree. I want this to be my legacy – I have raised over £100,000 in Brenda’s memory and I will raise as much as I can before the lights go out.”

Acker’s dedication to Weston Park over the years has also now landed him an accolade which few others can claim – after being made a patron of Weston Park Cancer Charity.

“I’m immensely proud that my efforts have been recognised with this tremendous honour,” said Acker.

“I’ve been doing this for 22 years and it’s not for personal glory. I do it in memory of my wife and to help others – that’s what people must remember. My Brenda was a true diamond – irreplaceable.”

Natalie Ball, a Duty Manager at Rose Hill, who carried out their own fundraising to show their support for Acker and Weston Park, said: “We are pleased to have presented a cheque to Acker for Weston Park Cancer Charity to help them continue their work in helping families affected by cancer.”

Acker will join well-known figures such as Jessica Ennis-Hill, Sean Bean, Darren Gough and Dean Andrews as patrons of the charity – and will also be among the VIP guests when the Ant Marketing Weston Park Cancer Charity Race Evening returns to Doncaster Racecourse on Friday 3 June, during the Platinum Jubilee weekend.

There is still time to join Acker and thousands of others at the Ant Marketing Weston Park Cancer Charity Race Evening on Friday 3 June.

For more information or for tickets, call 0114 553 3330, email charityteam@wpcancercharity.org.uk or visit https://www.westonpark.org.uk/doncaster-race-evening.

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