Sporting greats help Rotherham headteacher’s dying wish come true

DAVID Beckham, the England cricket team and a host of other sporting sides have donated signed memorabilia to help a head teacher’s dying wish come true.

Popular Alan Staton dreamed of St Ann’s Junior and Infant having the biggest adventure playground in Rotherham, it was revealed at his funeral.

Colleagues have rallied to make it a reality and a host of sporting items will be auctioned off at the school’s Dream Maker Ball at New York Stadium.

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Football shirts signed by Rotherham United, Sheffield Wednesday and a Manchester United shirt signed by Ashley Young will be among the items, as well as signed footballs from Becks, Doncaster Rovers, Barnsley and both Sheffield clubs.

The England cricket team has given a signed bat from the Winter Ashes tour, and other items include a Sheffield Steelers shirt and tickets for the Millers, Owls, Sheffield Sharks and Yorkshire Cricket.

Bids are invited from members of the public ahead of the sold-out ball next Saturday (22).

Organiser and teaching assistant Zoe Croot said: “The response has been fabulous, as you can tell by the long list of great auction items.

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“We put together a letter explaining what we were doing and and sent it out to about 300 different places.

“We’re still getting new things all the time. Last week the autographed Ashes cricket bat arrived out of the blue and that’s about four months after we wrote to them.

“The local sports teams  have been great and some of them will be attending on the night.”

Alan (48), who lost his long battle with cancer last year, spent 25 years at St Ann’s, including 16 as head.

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She added: “We’re hoping to raise £10,000 from the event. April will be the first anniversary of Alan passing away and we’re keen to move along with the project as soon as we can.”

For more information or to make a bid, contact the school on 01709 828298 or email bids to  Zoe at [email protected].