Two football-mad brothers who lost their grandfather to a brain tumour have pledged to do more than 1,000 keepy-uppies for charity during the World Cup.
Eight-year-old Zach Taylor and his brother Harvey, 10, from Abbots Langley, are taking part in the Brain Tumour Reaearch charity’s One Million Keepy Uppy Challenge, which kicked off on November 18.
Zach and Harvey’s inspiration for taking part comes from their beloved ‘Pops’ Colin Rothwell, who died in 2019, just three months after being diagnosed with a brain tumour. He was 65 years old.
The brothers have pledged to do 1,250 keepy uppies, with Harvey committed to 750 and Zach 500. It involves bouncing the ball off a part of their body without it touch the ground.
Mum Steph, 41, said: “They’re huge football fans and are really into the World Cup so when I saw the challenge I knew it would be perfect for them.
"I knew it would be something they’d love and would really enjoy doing in their grandfather’s memory. He helped care for them when I went back to work so they were very close.
“Their father, Paul, passed away in 2018 and was football-mad as well, so they’re following in his steps in that way too.”
Colin, from Watford, was struggling to speak and was thought to have suffered a stroke when he was rushed to hospital in May 2019. Scans discovered he had a mass on his brain and a biopsy revealed it was an inoperable glioblastoma.
Assistant head teacher Steph said: “Dad was a gentle man, reliable, dependable, full of integrity and very intelligent. To watch the tumour change him as a person was awful and learning how underfunded and under-researched brain tumours are made us want to help.”
Zach, a member of Kings Langley under-8s, and Harvey, who plays for Kings Langley under-11s, have been doing their keepy-uppies at weekends whilst waiting for each other’s football matches to finish and at after school clubs, always under the supervision of an adult who can keep count for them.
To support the brothers’ fundraising, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/steph-taylor-t4?newPage=True or, to find out more about the challenge, visit www.braintumourresearch.org/fundraise/keepy-uppy-challenge.
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