A close friendship between Wealdstone Football Club and the Hill family, who are leading ambassadors for Muscular Dystrophy UK, has led to a new partnership between the charity and the team, in the year when they have reached Vanarama National League status.
Wealdstone FC named Muscular Dystrophy UK their charity of the year 2020-2021 following years of the club’s support for 14-old Archie Hill, who lives with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and whose parents Lou and Gary Hill have been closely connected with the club for many years.
Wealdstone FC Chairman Rory Fitzgerald said of the new partnership:
Our promotion to the National League is a wonderful opportunity to help raise awareness of MDUK’s ground-breaking work, backing world-leading research as well as providing practical and emotional support for people with a muscle-wasting condition.
As part of the partnership agreement, you will see the Muscular Dystrophy UK branding on the back of our home and away shirts.
This charity is incredibly personal and important to me as well as to my extended family and close friends and I know some of the Wealdstone family who are directly affected by the illness.
I have experienced first-hand how tough it can be living with the condition and how important the support from the charity is to them. It is my hope that donations to Muscular Dystrophy UK will grow through the partnership with Wealdstone FC.
There are currently few effective treatments and no cures available, but research to develop potential treatments is showing great promise.
We welcome everyone associated with the charity to Wealdstone FC and look forward to doing everything we can to support them.
Archie was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy in 2009. His parents, Gary and Lou Hill who live close to the club, in Buckinghamshire, set up Action4Archie to raise vital funds for the Muscular Dystrophy UK’s Duchenne Research Breakthrough Fund.
Lou Hill said:
This partnership is terrific news. I can’t wait to see our MDUK branding worn on the back of players’ shirts as they set out at the beginning of a unique season which sees football tentatively setting back out onto pitches.
We absolutely love being part of the Wealdstone FC family and myself, Archie, Gary, Leyton will be cheering them on from the first fixture on 3 October.
Catherine Woodhead, Chief Executive of Muscular Dystrophy UK, said on partnering with the National League South Champions:
Congratulations to Wealdstone FC on their much-deserved promotion to the National League. We’re really excited to be a part of their 2020/21 season, and look forward to meeting the fans and the team once everything returns more to normal.
Wealdstone FC supporters have always been very supportive of Muscular Dystrophy UK, which brings together more than 60 muscle-wasting conditions affecting 70,000 people in the UK. We’re delighted to be their chosen charity partner, which could not have come at a better time. COVID-19 has hit our finances hard, but with the support of Wealdstone FC and others we hope to continue our vital support for individuals and families for years to come.
The Wealdstone players and supporters include several others with close historic connections to Muscular Dystrophy UK.
Paul Franklin combines being a lead supporter for the Wealdstone FC Supporters club with a being a top fundraiser for Action4Archie and MDUK, running London Marathon 4 times for the charity.
Our Muscles Match Day Selfie campaign will be the first MDUK fundraising campaign supported by Wealdstone FC this year.
This sees football fans pulling on their favourite football shirts, nominating five friends to do the same and donating £5 to Muscular Dystrophy UK. You can read all about it on our fundraising page here: