UK boy raises £1,500 for Ukraine by kicking football more than 10,000 times

A young boy has raised more than £1,500 for Ukraine - by kicking a football more than 10,000 times over a 12mile-stretch.

Hartley Cunard, nine, was inspired to do something special after seeing a young child of a similar age to him busking to raise money for humanitarian aid in war-torn Ukraine.

The keen sportsman decided the best way for him to raise funds was to do what he was passionate about - play football.

On April 10, young Hartley kicked his football over 10,000 times along a 12-mile passage from Redbrook to Chepstow in South Wales’s Wye Valley.

The journey took him exactly six hours and 37 minutes to complete and, for parts of the trip, he was accompanied by friends and family.

On his journey he showed his skills by performing his favourite tricks, including the Rabona, Elastico, Seal Dribble, Reverse Step-Overs and several Rainbow Kicks.

Hartley, from Redbrook, Gloucestershire, said: "When I saw the other boy busking I immediately thought I want to do something like that.

"Ukraine is in a lot of danger and they need our help badly.

"I'm a big fan of football - I support Tottenham Hotspur and I thought I could help whilst doing something I love.

"I dribbled the whole way and raised £1574 for a great cause."

After hearing about Hartley's challenge, Tanya, a Ukrainian national, was keen to show her support for his fundraiser.

She decided to wait for him at the finish line in Chepstow as a way of showing her appreciation of the youngster’s commitment to aiding her country.

Proud mum Aimee Hartley, 45, said Hartley was relentless in his desire to help Ukraine in any way he could.

She said: “It was the first time that Hartley had ever really put pressure on us to help him with something of this scale.

“He had the idea and became really committed to it, badgering me to help him.

“He managed to complete the entire journey without losing the ball, which came as a surprise – I had brought a spare one just in case.

“The really lovely part of it was that this Ukrainian lady named Tanya had heard about it through some of the flyers we’d sent out.

"She waited for Hartley to finish at the bridge in Chepstow and thanked him for his efforts.

"It was a very beautiful and touching moment for all of us."

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