Jake Burton has helped raise £5,819 for Alzheimer's Research UK whose regional fundraising manager Naomi Walters visited Long Sutton last week.

Charity bid in grandad’s memory proves a big hit

A charity has been bowled over by a Long Sutton cricketer’s innovative fundraiser inspired by his late grandfather.

Jake Burton, with the help of more than 250 cricketers across the country he persuaded to sign on, has run up £5,819 for Alzheimer’s Research UK during their performances at the wicket in the 2021 season.

The 27-year-old decided he would give 5p for every run he scored and 20p for every wicket he took to the charity in memory of his cricketing inspiration, grandad Trevor Burton, who passed away aged 83 in 2020.

He set up his own Runs4Research group encouraging other players to join up and pledge to donate base on their performance.

And it’s proved a huge hit with players from more than 100 clubs becoming involved in the initiative.

Ahead of the 2022 season, Jake’s looking to grow Runs4Research further in the summer, but before that there was the important process officially handing over the money to Alzheimer’s UK’s regional fundraising manager Naomi Walters on her visit to Paradise Field last week.

“When I started it I wanted to get maybe 100 people signed up and thought I’d be lucky to raise about £1,000,” he said. “It’s been amazing to see it grow as it has done.

“I thought it could go far but I didn’t expect this kind of support so soon.”

Jake himself raised around £35 for his performances throughout the season for Long Sutton and Sandringham in the Norfolk league.

The accountant for TC Bulley Davey did all the admin and clocked up what every player involved owed, the highest being Alex Ashwin of Burleigh Park in Stamford who earned £90.

“I’ve no idea what my grandad would have made of it,” Jake says. “It was just a small idea to remember him by and it’s grown thanks to the cricket community.

“Alzheimer’s is such a horrible condition. Someone can be there one day and then not really there the next, so anything I can do to support it.

Naomi Walters presents Jake Burton with a special thank you plaque.

“It’s been really enjoyable to raise money knowing is going to help fund research into the condition,.

Runs4Research bat stickers have been produced and Jake has the support of England bowler Mark Wood’s podcast Middle Please Umpire, while a thank-you video made by the charity includes a personal message from former England bowler Ryan Sidebottom.

Naomi, from Alzheimer’s Research UK said: “We can’t thank Jake enough and all the clubs and players involved.

“The cricketing community has really got behind this and Jake has also sat there every week and added up all the numbers.

“It’s such a great idea and something that as a charity we certainly need.

“I’d encourage any crickets to get on board for the 2022 season.”

For more information visit the @Runs4Research Twitter account.

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