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United hand over Blades flag to inspiring Ian

15 February 2017

Ahead of his impressive charitable attempt to conquer Mount Everest, United presented Ian Toothill with a Blades flag which he intends to plant at the top of the world's highest mountain - despite his lifelong support to Sheffield Wednesday!

Ian, who is originally from Sheffield but now of Willesden Green, north west London, wants to be the first person with cancer to conquer Everest.

After setting himself a target of raising £250,000 from the remarkable challenge for Macmillan Cancer Support, a close friend of Ian donated £1,000 to his fund if he took up the challenge of planting the red and white flag at the peak.

Presenting the flag to Ian at Bramall Lane to go on the epic journey was United's Operations Director Dave McCarthy and the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Denise Fox.

United's owners, directors and vice presidents have pledged a significant amount of money towards his fund. Also, the club has donated merchandise, including a signed shirt, for Ian to use in a charity auction.

Aged just 47, Ian was diagnosed with bowel cancer in June 2015 where he was given between four months and two years to live. However, after being told he had beaten the disease, Ian was informed last year that the cancer had sadly returned and has been given only a few months to live.

Ian needs to raise £29,275 to fund the expedition. The remainder will be donated to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Despite being told he has months to live, Ian wants to not only be the first person with cancer to reach the summit of Mount Everest but he wants to tick the challenge off his bucket list.

Ian said: "I am so grateful to Sheffield United and their support to my challenge. The club has shown me an amazing level of support and I can't thank them enough for all their help.

"There's more to life than football and this experience has taught me that more than anything else but it's all a good laugh putting the Blades flag on Mount Everest - something I never thought I'd be doing!"

He added: "I also want to say a special thank you to my friend who donated the £1,000 and suggested the flag challenge to me. He just put it in, no questions asked and I know he could have used the money for his young family. It's a big yet humbling gesture."

"I want to inspire anyone living with cancer to go and do that special thing they've always wanted to do. Thanks again to everyone for all their support."

Dave McCarthy, Operations Manager at United, said: "We are so pleased we could help Ian in his impressive challenge to reach Mount Everest and it was an honour to present Ian with the Blades flag.

"Not only is Ian inspiring to everyone he is raising money for a worthy cause. On behalf of everyone at Sheffield United we would like to say good luck to Ian and wish him all the best in his courageous challenge."

Lord of Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Denise Fox, said: 'I was proud to have been invited to meet Ian Toothill. He is an inspiration to us all, putting himself through a difficult challenge whilst battling with his health for others is unbelievable.

"All this and keeping his sense of humour taking the SUFC flag with him being a Wednesday supporter all for charity. The determination he shows is encouragement to us all.'

To read Ian's story and donate to his cause visit: target="SUnew">

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