Crowds flock to heart-attack teenager’s fundraiser

YOU'RE OUR NUMBER ONE -- teammates present Glynn Raven with a new goalkeeper's jersey
YOU'RE OUR NUMBER ONE -- teammates present Glynn Raven with a new goalkeeper's jersey

EMOTIONS ran high as more than 150 people turned up for a fundraising party in Bulwell to support a 15-year-old footballer whose long-standing heart condition nearly killed him.

Glynn Raven, a goalkeeper with Bulwell Rangers under-15s, was fit enough to attend the heartwarming event at Bestwood Road Sports and Social Club.

NHUD11-0613-2'Glynn Raven fundraiser.'Glynn with his mum and dad, Sean and Sally.

NHUD11-0613-2'Glynn Raven fundraiser.'Glynn with his mum and dad, Sean and Sally.

He had spent a lengthy period in the specialist unit at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester. He was rushed into hospital before last Christmas after suffering a blood clot from a virus.

He underwent just over nine hours of open-heart surgery and it was touch-and-go for him at one stage because of the amount of blood he had lost.

The party raised the grand total of £1,216 for the Glenfield unit, which is currently under threat of closure.

Glynn, who was formerly a footballer with Hucknall Sports, lives in Strelley with his parents, Sean and Sally. He has three brothers and two sisters.

NHUD11-0613-3'Glynn Raven fundraiser.'Two of the prizes, signed Nottingham Forest footballs from present and past teams.

NHUD11-0613-3'Glynn Raven fundraiser.'Two of the prizes, signed Nottingham Forest footballs from present and past teams.

Sean (30) said the fundraising event was a chance for him to say thankyou to everyone who had supported the family.

He added that a check-up had revealed that Glynn’s heart was beating faster than it should for someone his age and he might need to be on permanent medication.

But Sean stressed that Glynn, though still very frail, was delighted to feel well enough to attend the party. He added that Glynn was hopeful of being able to start playing football again some time next season.

“It has been a real ordeal for all of us,” said Sean. “We were well aware of Glynn’s heart condition but what happened near Christmas came as a dreadful shock. I cannot thank people enough for all the help we have received. Everyone has been brilliant.”

Disco music was provided and a raffle was arranged. The highlight was an auction of lots which included a football signed by Nottingham Forest legends Peter Shilton and Stuart Pearce.

The event was organised by Rangers under-15s manager Keith Dunn, who said the life-saving surgery received by Glynn showed how vital it was to make sure Glenfield’s specialist unit was retained.

“If it closed, Glynn and the other family members would have to travel all the way to Birmingham and he would see a surgeon unfamiliar with his condition,” said Mr Dunn.

He added that thanks were due to Empire Scaffolding, of Hucknall, the Hair and Beauty salon in Bulwell and Tesco for donating prizes.

Sean’s employers Reckitt and Benckiser Healthcare, of Nottingham, match-funded the amount raised up to £250.

Rangers’ publicity oficer Melvin Hornbuckle said Glynn was very much missed by his team-mates, particularly for the services he gave as goalkeeper and he would be welcomed back with open arms as soon he felt fit enough to play again.

Mr Hornbuckle hit out at a letter-writer to the Dispatch who commented on the ‘sad state of depressed Bulwell’ and described the place as ‘a cross between Trumpton and Mogadishu.

“Many people of Bulwell have put themselves out to make the fundraising party a day to remember,” said Mr Hornbuckle. “We are talking about people with heart — respectable, hardworking folk.”

A further fundraising event to support Glynn and the Glenfield unit will be held at The Nuthall pub (formerly Broxtowe Inn), Nuthall, a week tomorrow (Saturday March 26).