Park House day

Uncle Danny Catchesides with his beloved nephew Freddie

Uncle Danny Catchesides with his beloved nephew Freddie

First published in Bromley

TWO hundred and forty cubs and scouts lent their support to the ‘Ready, Freddie GO!’ campaign at their tag rugby tournament at Park House Rugby Club in Hayes on Sunday, May 15. It was the second year that boys from the Bromley district held their event at the club in Barnet Wood Road - and some of the proceeds from the day helped take Park House’s fund-raising efforts past the £2,000 mark.

Park House vice-president Danny Catchesides Jnr is the uncle of six-year-old Freddie Farmer from Eltham, who is the inspiration behind the Freddie Farmer Foundation that is running a fund-raising campaign to build a specialist physiotherapy centre in SE London for Freddie and children like him with mobility problems.

“We started with 40 kids last year and we’ve got 240 this time, so it’s evolving.” said Danny. “The scout group organise it, we just supply the venue and refreshments, and hopefully we’ll pick up a few players for our youth section.

“We started a vets team and we’ve raised over a £1,000 for Freddie through mini-tournaments, dinners, raffles and auctions, and now we’re past the £2,000 mark. Today we’ll auction some Wembley tickets donated by Saracens.”

Danny, 41 – whose dad, Danny Catchesides Snr, started the foundation – has been a member at Park House for 26 of the club’s 126 years, its past members including Prime Minister Harold Macmillan.

“The average age of the third team is 40 but we won the Kent Metropolitan Conference League this season,” said Danny Jnr. “The club was formed in Greenwich, then it moved to Catford and we’ve been here for 40-odd years.

“It’s very much a family club. There are players here I played with 25 years ago in the colts. We’ve now got Mini and Junior teams from Under 8 to Under 15, and our policy is that everyone plays.

“As for Freddie, he’s an absolute delight. Once you meet Freddie he touches your heart. It’s the most natural thing in the world to raise funds for the foundation. We’ve got some lads who are planning a cycle ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats for him.”

Giles Barnett, the scouts commissioner for Bromley, said: “Park House have been great to us, it’s a great place, very welcoming, and hopefully this will become an annual event.

“We had everyone from Beaver Scouts to Network Scouts here today. That’s 240 from 1200 that could have come, so that’s fantastic.”

A new supporter for the Freddie Farmer Foundation turned out to be the ice-cream man! Emir Enver also runs Inc-K Hairdressing at 79 Bromley Common, and he agreed to have a fund-raising tin in his salon. www.bmycharity.com/freddiefarmer

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