Fans on both sides of Steel City divide unite in support of Sheffield Wednesday superfan’s charity walk
An eight-year-old Sheffield Wednesday fan who will walk 16 miles to take up his seat at the Steel City derby has already raised more than £3,000 before taking a single step.
Shay O’Grady, of Ecclesfield, will walk from Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice in North Anston to Hillsborough for the game between Wednesday and United on Monday, March 4.
The hospice helps care for his cousin Evie Mae Askwith-O’Grady, who has got a rare chromosome deletion order and needs round-the-clock care.
His proud dad Jason said: “Evie-Mae is five months younger than him so he used to wonder why she couldn’t walk when they were younger.
“He's always asked questions since he was little like why can't Evie Mae walk or talk. Shay O'Grady, pictured with Evie-Mae Askwith.
"As he's got older he understands it a little bit more but what he does understand is how much Bluebell Wood do for Evie Mae and her parents Keeley and Adam and brother Brandon. They offer so much more to families – it’s an amazing place.
“He tries to do something every year and this year he said he wanted to do something good and he came up with this idea himself.”
Jason said the St Thomas More Catholic Primary School pupil goes to all the Wednesday home games with him and also plays the game himself, kitting out for Wisewood Juniors.
The youngster originally set out to raise £400 but donations have flooded in and including offline donations, his total currently stands at £3,100.
Jason added: “Last year he walked from Hillsborough to Bramall Lane and he has always wanted to go a bit further.
“He said he wanted to walk from the hospice to the game but it’s been moved to the Monday so he is going to have to do half on Sunday and half on Monday because he'll be at school.”
KInd-hearted Shay has previously collected Easter eggs from his football team-mates to donate to Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
Jason said: “We’re very, very proud of him. He is a fantastic lad, who loves his football. He’s very kind and loves to help anybody.
“He is always doing something and he loves doing things like this. As parents you to try encourage that.”
For more information or if you would like to sponsor Shay visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/shayboogrady