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WATCH: Almost 200 footsore Huddersfield Town fans take part in Walk for Pounds

Yorkshire Air Ambulance gets 'thank you' for helping Tommy Smith

Almost 200 Huddersfield Town fans hit the fundraising trail for Yorkshire’s helicopter heroes on Saturday for an annual walk with added significance.

Town’s fourth Walk for Pounds event for Yorkshire Air Ambulance came just weeks after defender Tommy Smith was knocked unconscious on the pitch and had to be airlifted to hospital.

Some 185 walkers trooped the 19 miles from the air ambulance base at Nostell, Wakefield, back to the John Smith’s Stadium in time for kick-off against Fulham.

Among the walkers was Tommy Smith’s dad, who joined in as a thank you to the air crews who came to the aid of his stricken son.

Smith, 22, was knocked out in a collision at the end of Town’s home game against Leeds in January.

He was carried off after lengthy treatment on the pitch and the helicopter was called to take him to Leeds General Infirmary.

A couple of walkers failed to complete the course while most arrived leg weary, blistered – but elated.

Tracy Nunns, 50, of Roberttown, walked with friend Sharon Wood, 51, of Mirfield. They were among the last to finish but Tracy said: “It was tough but it’s a big achievement. My body was saying no but my mind said to carry on.”

Click below to see pictures of the walkers arriving at the stadium

Allison Turner, of West Vale, works for Yorkshire Air Ambulance and knows how important the charity is. “It’s fabulous and I just wanted to do my bit,” she said.

Friends Nicola Cromack, 34, of Morley, and Sasha Ingala, 44, of Leeds, did the walk as part of their training for a charity trek up Kilimanjaro on Boxing Day.

“What we’ve found is that Killy’s going to kill us!” said Nicola.

Lee Matthews, 43, licensee at the New Inn at Sowood, was joined by Jamie Gill, 23, and Joe Dyda, 18, and the pub team hopes to have raised £750.

“It was tough but there were a lot of smiles on the way,” said Lee. “We managed it in five hours.”

Walkers who completed the Walk for Pounds arrive at the Stadium

Pals Dawn Hufton, 30, of Dalton, Alex Pickles, 32, of Halifax, and Sarah Booth, 24, of Kirkheaton, were happy to finish but gave the match a miss.

“We’re going for a cider instead,” grinned Dawn.

A team of 11 from event sponsors Thornhill Dental Surgery in Dewsbury hope to have added £800 to the cause.

“It was tiring but rewarding,” said practice manager James Tattersfield, 23.

The walk was in aid of Town’s Keep It Up campaign which splits money between the air ambulance and the club’s youth academy. The walks have raised £60,000 so far.

Walkers also included Town chairman Dean Hoyle, Academy chief Mark Lillis, club ambassador Andy Booth and director Sean Jarvis.

The Duke of York will officially open the air ambulance’s purpose-built Nostell Air Support Unit base on Wednesday.


Doug Thomson
Huddersfield Town correspondent
Chris Roberts
Huddersfield Giants correspondent
Louise Cooper
Crime correspondent
Nick Lavigueur
Health Correspondent
Joanne Douglas
Local Government Correspondent
Linda Whitwam
Education Correspondent
Henryk Zientek
Business Correspondent
Martin Shaw
Mirfield Correspondent