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00  Month

Jonny be good!

Created on 12/05/2016 @ 11:57
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At 25 years old, Jonny Roberts was reaching his prime as a footballer.

After cutting his teeth in the Berriew Reserves side, Jonny got his break this season and grabbed it with both hands, scoring 17 goals in 16 games for the first team in the Mid Wales League.

But just as he was looking to cement his place in local footballing folklore, the player was delivered devastating news before Christmas that has changed his life.

Jonny was diagnosed with Anti-thrombin Three Deficiency which is a rare genetic blood disorder that means his blood is a lot more susceptible to clotting. He had to give up football immediately.

“It's a disorder that runs in my family with my gran, mum, uncle and auntie all being diagnosed with the disorder,” said Jonny. “Due to this, we frequently have to visit the O'Connor Haematology Unit in Shrewsbury which deals with all of the area’s patients who have some sort of problem with their blood.”

Rather than feel sorry for himself, Jonny has admirably decided to give back and has organised a football match fundraiser for the Unit on July 2 when the current Berriew side will take on a Mid Wales all-star side made up of players he has met on the pitch during his short career.

“The unit has cared for my various family members who have had this disorder all their lives, and since I was hospitalized just before Christmas with multiple pulmonary emboli on my chest, now it will be caring for me for the rest of my life as well.”

It’s not been easy to accept that he won’t be able to play competitive football again, but he is indebted to the support that has been sent his way from the local community.

“Since this illness just before Christmas I've sadly had to retire from football, but Berriew have been brilliant with me. My team mates, fans and the committee all clubbed together to get me tickets to go and watch Tottenham Hotspur after I recovered, and a hotel break in London during the time. Plus they've kept me involved, enrolling me on my C license coaching badge, and I'll take control of the reserve team next year.”

The match will be held at Berriew with a bar provided by Shane Clee and a BBQ by Phil and Elaine Owens.

“The response to the game has been fantastic. Shane said that all proceeds from the bar on the day he'll donate to the charity, which is very humbling and kind of him. We've got some great live music lined up, with acts already confirmed and more in the pipeline.

“So all in all it will be a fun day out with (hopefully) some good football on show! There's no tickets, and no cost to enter, all I ask is that people give a donation towards the charity I'm raising money for (the O'Connor Haematology Unit).

“There will be different ways of donating on the day available, or, if it's easier, or if people can't attend but still want to donate I've set up a Just Giving page.”

It is refreshing to see a young man turning a negative in to such an overwhelmingly positive initiative and if you would like to show your support, visit:

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