by Rob Amor
Coventry American Football team call on the American Football community to support a team mate in need.
The Coventry Jets, an American Football team based in the West Midlands, are calling on the American Football community and its supporters to help a team mate in need.
Rich Barrett, a former player of the Leicester Panthers, the Birmingham Bulls and latterly the Coventry Jets, has suffered with brain tumours since his first was diagnosed in October 2000.
Following invasive brain surgery, the former NFLE Trialist and GB Lion, Rich rehabilitated for two years before getting back on his feet.
In 2011 Rich, who has two daughters Ella and Faye, was diagnosed with another brain tumour and began another complicated road to recovery after spinal fluid leaked into his brain.
Sadly, in August 2013, Rich received devastating news; not only had two more tumours appeared, but the NHS would not fund the treatment needed to save his life. Rich’s only option is to wait for the tumours to grow large enough for the NHS to fund the surgery, which has a 50 per cent chance of success but a high risk of paraplegia or death.
Rich was offered a course of radiotherapy to try and reduce the tumours but there is still a possibility that Rich will need the high risk but potentially lifesaving surgery.
Rich is now in the midst of a gruelling cycle of radiotherapy, six weeks of treatment, five times a day. So to help ease the strain on the Barrett family the Coventry Jets, with the support of the Birmingham Bulls, are organising a fundraising American Football game and Gala Dinner with all proceeds going to Rich, his wife Claire and his two young daughters. The Coventry Jets are calling on the UK’s American Football community to pull together and show their support.
Former Head Coach and Gala organiser, Gerry McManus, said: “We play a highly competitive and physically demanding sport where no quarter is asked nor given and we also have a very strong bond between us all which is something that only players and coaches can understand – something that transcends the colours we wear on game day. I would like to thank the Coventry Jets Head Coach, Paul Rickuss, the Coventry Jets General Manager, Adam Biggs, Rob Amor, the Birmingham Bulls, and Steve Hannington, the Sandwell Steelers, for all their help and support in arranging the game and the Gala dinner. I’m sure that the UK Football community and especially the Midlands teams will support this event.”
The game and black-tie Gala will take place on Saturday 3rd May at the Butts Park Arena at 7.30pm. The game between the Coventry Jets and the Birmingham Bulls kicks off at 2.30 pm. Gala tickets cost £35 and includes a three-course meal and a disco. There will also be an auction to help boost funds, lots so far include; a signed ball by Super Bowl winning Head Coach Tony Dungy courtesy of the NFL London Office, a signed Northampton Saints Shirt and ball, Marussia F1 Team gift bag including t shirts, and signed replica NFL helmets. Any further auction items or donations will be gratefully received.
If you cannot attend the Gala but would still like to help, please share the page on your social media and/or websites. Further details of how to purchase Gala tickets will be available on the dedicated Facebook site and at the Coventry Jets website or e mail Adambiggs20@icloud.com.
An account has been set up for donations or to purchase Gala dinner tickets:
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For the Gala Dinner, please state your name and/or club and the number of tickets required. There are 10 seats per table.
For donations, please state your name and/or club and mark as a donation.