When Steve ‘Garby’ Garbett died from Prostate Cancer in 2014, Steve’s son, Dave and long time friends, Preston North End manager Simon Grayson and Bedale AFC Chairman, Martyn Coombes started fundraising for Prostate Cancer UK in his memory. Little did they know that what would start as a funeral collection would soon turn into £170k, raising funds through multiple fundraising events, including a special performance from the Kaiser Chiefs and joining Jeff Stelling on a walking challenge across the country.
Here we take a look at Team Garby’s extraordinary fundraising journey.
It all started with a collection, selling Prostate Cancer UK's 'Man of men' pin-badges at Steve’s funeral and raising £2,456.01.
"I’ll never forget that penny!" jokes Dave [pictured below with his dad, Steve]. "It’s amazing how much awareness those little lapel badges can raise.
"So many people see the badge worn on TV by football managers and pundits. But it’s even more provoking when you see random people wearing them, knowing that we’re all part of a movement to change the game for men everywhere."
In 2015, Dave, Simon and Martyn roped some of their mates into cycling our Football to Amsterdam bike ride – a two-day, 145-mile pedal-pilgrimage. The 11 strong team of riders made up the first Team Garby squad to take on the epic challenge.
The team pulled together to put on a number of fundraising events and smashed their minimum £1,000 sponsorship targets. That included a charity football match at Bedale Town FC, a Gentleman’s Dinner, Q&As with Simon Grayson [pictured below], donations rather than gifts for birthdays and collection tins at local shops – as well as collecting sponsorship from family and friends.
In fact, Dave won our prestigious Orange Jersey for being the highest individual fundraiser for the ride [pictured below with Team Garby riders Simon Grayson (left) and Martyn Coombs (right)].
Team Garby returned to the peloton the following year, raising even more money with a raft of brilliant schemes. From donating weddings and making and selling reindeer at Christmas [pictured below], to sponsored cycling jerseys and a huge charity ball at Leeds Royal Armouries – fundraising ideas big and small contributed to the pot.
This time it was the whole of Team Garby that won the Orange Jerseys, as both the team who raised the most money and the individual, too – Steve Loney.
At the start of 2017, Team Garby set their sights on hitting the big £100k – and to do it, they predicted a riot. Simon Grayson held another charity ball, at the Queens Hotel in Leeds, which was gate-crashed by the multi-award winning band, the Kaiser Chiefs.
Lead singer Ricky Wilson wore a 'Man of Men' pin-badge throughout his set.
"Garby loved the Kaiser Chiefs," says Simon. "So to have them show up on the night and surprise all of the guests was a perfect way to celebrate his life with family and friends.
"I was honoured to host the night alongside Steve’s family. They’ve been instrumental in Team Garby’s fundraising and I know Steve would be so proud of them."
The night raised over £42k and helped the team smash their target.
Having surpassed their target the team decided to try and raise £132k - a number chosen to reflect the number of men who’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer since they started fundraising back in 2014. And yet again, Team Garby smashed their target before starting the 2017 Football to Amsterdam ride, with one day to spare! They also joined Jeff Stelling on his March for Men in the same month.
Team Garby have upped their fundraising target again, this time to a quarter of a million pounds. With the help from Steve’s close friend, Bedale AFC Chairman, Martyn Coombes and sponsor HECK Sausages, Team Garby have seen a huge amount of donations coming from the wacky designs created for the Bedale AFC away football kits, helping them edge towards their total.
Their latest kit includes bangers, creamy mash, colourful greens and gravy boat socks. Good enough to eat!
To follow the Team Garby’s fundraising journey and to donate, visit their official Just Giving page.
Good luck Team Garby, and thank you for all your incredible support over the last five years!