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Wilmslow man raises £5,586 with memorial rugby match for Parkinson’s UK

A man from Wilmslow, Cheshire, has raised £5,586 for charity Parkinson’s UK after organising a memorial rugby match.

32-year-old Jonny Barltrop organised the match on Saturday 17 July 2021 at Wilmslow Rugby Club in tribute to his late father Mike Barltrop. Mike had been living with Parkinson’s for over 20 years and passed away on January 29 2020. 

Attendees were able to watch, eat, drink and play rugby. For senior citizens unable to play contact rugby, a 20 minute ‘golden shorts’ period - so called because players in gold shorts cannot be tackled - took place towards the end of the game.

Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world, and currently there is no cure. It affects around 145,000 people in the UK, including 15,256 in the North West of England. There are over 40 symptoms, from tremor and pain to anxiety. 

Jonny said:

“Sadly on January 29 2020 my Dad, Mike Barltrop passed away after battling with Parkinson’s for over 20 years.

Just a couple of weeks prior to this I had met with a couple of childhood friends, Steve Beard and Richard Valentine who were a part of our junior rugby team growing up which Dad dedicated so much of his time to coaching for over a decade. They suggested arranging a testimonial game to say thank you to him, with our age group versus a Barbarian team led by my brothers Matt and Dave. This was planned as a surprise and to say a big thank you and no doubt it’s something he would have really enjoyed.

In light of the rather sudden events in January 2020 this was changed to go ahead as a memorial game and after numerous lockdowns eventually happened on 17 July. Through the sales of match day programmes and raffle tickets, an auction and donations, we raised over £5,586 for Parkinson’s UK.”

Ann Rowe, Head of Regional Fundraising at Parkinson’s UK, said: 

“We are so grateful to Jonny for organising this memorial rugby match in tribute to his late father, to raise money for Parkinson’s UK. 

“With more than 40 potential symptoms, Parkinson’s can devastate lives. We’ve made huge breakthroughs in the last 50 years, but there is still no cure and current treatments are not good enough. Fundraisers like Jonny help us to drive forward the groundbreaking research we need to transform the lives of people affected by the condition.” 

If you would like to sponsor Jonny, visit 

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mike-barltrop

About Parkinson’s and Parkinson’s UK

Parkinson’s is what happens when the brain cells that make dopamine start to die. There are more than 40 symptoms, from tremor and pain to anxiety. Some are treatable, but the drugs can have serious side effects. It gets worse over time and there’s no cure. Yet.

Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world. Around 145,000 people in the UK have Parkinson’s.

For more facts and statistics, please click here.

Further information, advice and support is available on our website,

www.parkinsons.org.uk.

Pictured - Jonny Barltrop and his rugby team raised £5,586 for Parkinson’s UK.

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