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Fundraiser launched in honour of much loved Wales fan

16 Feb 2023 3 minute read
Wales superfan Richie Donovan

He was the Wales fan who famously summed up all our feelings during the highs and lows of the Euro 2016 clash with England in Lens.

Richie Donovan, from Newport, was captured on camera undergoing the agony and ecstasy of being a Wales fan at the Euros in France.

TV cameras showed Richie’s reactions when two late goals broke Welsh hearts but also brilliantly demonstrated the passion of Richie and his mates as they appeared on the big screen.

Sadly Richie took his own life in September of last year.

Now one of his best friends, Matthew Poultney, has set up a charity fundraiser to raise funds for a local mental health charity ‘You’re Never Alone’ in Richie’s memory, while also raising awareness of men’s mental health.

So far almost half of their target £2,500 has been raised.

Writing on the Just Giving fundraiser page, Matthew said: “When I received the phone call to say that Richie had taken his life, I was absolutely heartbroken. It’s the first time I had experienced suicide and the first time I had given mental health any thought. I suppose I felt a little immune to mental health and took the attitude that ‘it doesn’t apply to me!’.

“This has motivated me to learn more about mental health and this is where I found the local charity group called ‘You’re Never Alone’. This small group is run by a local chap and is a very small and personal group designed to help people out in the local area. They fund raise to help with councelling, they run weekly wellbeing walks and they meet once a week for a chat. What a great thing this group is doing and if they can help a ‘Richie’, then they have done their job.’

To raise funds for the charity. Matthew has signed up to enter this year’s Ironman Wales – one of the most challenging ironman events in the world.

“I wanted to set the bar high,” said Matthew. “Me and Richie were known for pushing the boundaries and pushing ourselves, sometimes borderline on being a little daft. So in true Richie and Boy Wonder fashion, I’ve signed up to compete in an Ironman.

“For those not familiar with Ironman, it starts with a 2.4 mile swim, followed by 112 miles on a bike and then finished off with a full marathon and you have 17 hours to complete the ultimate test of endurance. Because it is Ironman Wales that I will be competing in, there are hills. And lots of them. With almost 10,000 feet of climbing on the bike and more climbing on the run. Tenby Ironman is known to be one of the most difficult Ironman courses in the world. They nickname it ‘slaying the dragon!’.

“There are many variables that can stop a competitor completing the course, but, with Richie on my mind, and my brother Josh by my side, I will make sure I am in the best possible position to give it my best shot. I will be on the beach come Sept 3rd 2023. Richie would love it!”

To find out more and to donate to the fundraiser click HERE

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