Former world superbike champion James Toseland raffles off prize-winning leathers to ‘make a big difference’ in Sheffield

Former superbike world champion James Toseland has led thousands of bikers delivering chocolate Easter eggs to young Sheffield patients for years.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 10:37 am

The Sheffield Children’s Hospital Easter Egg Run, where motorcyclists deliver chocolate treats to poorly children, has become a tradition over 20 years.

It was cancelled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and due to current restrictions, can’t take place this April. But James and the team at the hospital are refusing to let lockdown stop them from raising vital cash for a new cancer and leukaemia ward.

Instead of the usual collection of hundreds of bikers making their way through the city a raffle and auction is being held online, and there are some amazing prizes – including some of James’ most prized possessions.

Double World Superbike Champion James Toseland leads the 2018 Sheffield Children's Hospital Easter Egg Run

Sheffield resident James Toseland told the Sheffield Telegraph: “It is such a lovely event, but it is not the easiest event to do, to walk around the hospital seeing the poorly children. It’s tough to see, but it makes it so worthwhile in doing and you realise just how important it is.

"I have been a patron for the hospital for about 15 years, and every time I go for the Easter egg run I am shown first hand where the money is going and what this fundraising is capable of doing, and its just fundamental.

“We are lucky in Sheffield to have such an amazing children’s hospital, we need to keep it going. I think they are about £2.5 million down with Covid and the hits they’ve had with the pandemic, as far as fundraising goes.

"It has been tough, so we are looking at all avenues to keep doing what we can, and when. Hopefully in 2022 all the bikers can get back together again.”

James Toseland in Weston Park after an Egg Run. Picture: Steve Ellis

James, who is also a musician and fronts a self-titled band, Toseland, is now wanting to support the children’s hospital by auctioning and raffling off his precious motorcycle leathers.

As well as his 2005 Superbike World Championship leathers, other prizes include a Zoom call with James, a music package from his band and a number of Easter-themed treats.

The online raffle costs £5 per ticket to enter and will be drawn on Tuesday, April 6.

James auctioned off his Moto GP set of leathers in 2008 and is hoping by hosting a raffle it will “give more people a chance.”

James has been a patron of the Hospital since 2015.

"But you never know how many raffle tickets you’re going to sell – I don’t want them to just go for a fiver,” James laughs.

"The children’s hospital has been struggling, and it isn’t easy to find things that can raise thousands of pounds.

"I hope they raise enough to make a big difference while they are struggling.”

Lucy Rathbone, regional fundraising officer at The Children’s Hospital Charity, added: “We are so grateful to James for his tireless support of Sheffield Children’s.

"Through the egg run he has led, which has now been going for more than 20 years, thousands of pounds have been raised to support generations of young patients and their families.

“He has very generously donated lots of fantastic prizes for a raffle and auction this year, all to support our appeal to build a new cancer and leukaemia ward at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

"We would like to say a huge, heartfelt thank you to James and everyone who is taking part for continuing to change lives during these difficult times.”

Visit www.tchc.org.uk/how-you-can-help/egg-run to buy a raffle ticket, or enter an auction.