On Saturday, I’ll be one of 30 people taking part in Tiger Feet II – a sponsored walk from Loftus Road to Vicarage Road to raise money for the QPR Tiger Cubs.
For those who don’t know, the Tiger Cubs is a team for children with Down’s syndrome and is run by the QPR Community Trust.
Tiger Feet was the result of an idea by James Doe – a QPR fan and friend of mine who also came up with the idea of Non-League Day – and was inspired by the fact that our friend and colleague Chris Charles has a daughter, Lois, who has Down’s.
Chris is an avid Rangers fan and many of you will have read his blogs on the BBC and Football League websites.
James and Chris approached the QPR Community Trust, and between them organised Tiger Feet, which took place a year ago.
A small group of us walked from Loftus Road to Selhurst Park on the day Rangers played there. It was a great day, and the walk raised over £9,500 for the Tiger Cubs – an amazing display of support and generosity from QPR fans.
Afterwards I received many kind messages that I really didn’t deserve, because the whole thing was created by James and Chris, and organised between them and Andy Evans and his brilliant team at the Community Trust.
Apart from nodding my head when James had suggested the idea some weeks earlier, all I did was turn up on the morning itself – last, as usual – and did the walk. Everything else was done by the others.
It was such a success that we immediately floated the idea of Tiger Feet II around the same time the following year, and as luck would have it Rangers were then scheduled to play at Watford in late-April – a match which, for months, we’ve been hoping wouldn’t be moved for TV coverage!
Last year, we arrived at Selhurst with a larger group than we left W12 with, as some people had followed our progress on Twitter and joined us along the way.
Partly for that reason, this time the group has been expanded to 30, giving more people the opportunity to take part. And now we’re all set.
Tiger Feet’s a great event and QPR fans ought to be bursting with pride at the Tiger Cubs and the QPR Community Trust, both of which make an enormous difference. Andy Evans and his team are an absolute credit to the club.
Many people have again sponsored us this time around, and for that, all involved are so grateful. If you’d like to sponsor us too, you can do so by clicking this link.
The cash makes such a difference to the children’s lives, it really does.
The money raised last year enabled the kids to have an extra training session a week, as well as having coaching in tennis and golf, and a number of day trips.
If you can afford to donate, please do. The Tiger Cubs is a fantastic cause and it would be lovely to think that by the time little Lois is old enough to play for them, they’ll still be going from strength to strength.
You can also follow our progress on the day via the Tiger Feet II Facebook page or these Twitter accounts: James_W12 (always good for info on QPR and W12), Chris__Charles (good if you want to follow an excellent journo) and davidmcintyre76 (you might as well).
Incidentally, last year I was stupid enough to ignore advice to cancel all work at Palace v QPR, and lugged my laptop and other gear 13 miles in the hot sun. This time I’m swapping the press box for behind the goal, and am hoping a few old friends have improved their banter. It could hardly have got worse.