Competitive dads tackle penalty kick marathon challenge in Kimberworth park

Competitive dads tackle penalty kick marathon challenge in Kimberworth park

By Adele Forrest | 10/10/2019

Competitive dads tackle penalty kick marathon challenge in Kimberworth park
Andy Watson (pink)and Jake Lee (blue) and baby Eric

TWO competitive dads will go against each other in a penalty kick marathon challenge to help other parents in need.

Andy Watson (34) will be attempting to take 1,000 penalty kicks in 12 hours against his childhood friend and goalie, Jake Lee.

The men are aiming to raise £3,000 for The Sick Children’s Trust, which keeps families together when a child is seriously ill in hospital by giving them a place to stay. 

The charity helped Andy and his fiancée Rebecca Power when their son Eric was taken to Sheffield Children’s Hospital with a suspected bowel blockage.

Little Eric was given the all-clear but remained in hospital for four days because he was struggling to feed after his birth last September.

The Kimberworth dad was able to stay closer to his newborn son after being given a place to stay in a property run by the trust next door to the hospital. 

Andy, a steelworker at AMG in Templeborough, said: “Eric was just a few hours old when he was taken to Sheffield Children’s Hospital — it would’ve been a long distance for us to travel back and forth for four days to see him if it wasn’t for The Sick Children’s Trust. 

“It was a really stressful time which was made a lot easier because I was able to stay close to Eric and be with him at a moment’s notice. 

“My fiancée, Rebecca, could only come at visiting times while she recovered from a Caesarean section, but she brought our other son Zack, who was two at the time, with her so we could all be together.

“Knowing that Eric always had someone nearby was a great comfort to us both.”

Determined to give something back to the charity, Andy and his pal Jake conjured up the unique football fundraiser, which will take place on October 12 at Barker’s Park in Kimberworth.

Jake (31) will be in-between the sticks throughout the challenge trying to prevent Andy scoring as many goals as possible. 

While the pair might be old friends, neither of them will hold back. 

“As much as I don’t want to admit it, Jake’s actually a pretty good goalkeeper,” added Andy.

“He’s played in other charity football matches and last year he did manage to save a penalty at Hillsborough, so it won’t be easy. 

“We’ve always been very competitive with each other so neither of us will be giving the other a chance. That’s why I’m looking forward to the challenge!

“Jake will be fine with going the 12-hour distance as well as he’s always been one of those guys who’s very determined and if he decides to do something he fully commits. 

“Having had twin boys himself last year, he has been very sympathetic and supportive of our situation and he got fully on board as soon as I suggested doing this fundraiser with him.”

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