Wing and Steele Back Local Isolation Race Day
By fmttm
Friday 24 Apr 2020 15:32:00
Browse all Boro News articles


Middlesbrough midfielder Lewis Wing and former Boro and now Brighton keeper, Jason Steele have taken part in the ‘Isolation Race Day’, organised by their friends at one of their local amateur football clubs. The two football stars have joined more than 270 of their friends in a virtual ‘day at the races’ that has raised hundreds of pounds for charity.

Sunday pub side Iron Horse FC, in Newton Aycliffe, created the virtual race event to relieve lockdown boredom due to a lack of weekend football action.

They managed to get more than 170 ‘punters’ taking part in the first race day, which raised £600 for good causes, but then more than 270 took part in the second event held on Sunday, April 19, with a further £1,000 being raised.

Participants pay £10 each to join a What’s App group and can select their horses from eight pre-recorded races which are streamed ‘live’ via YouTube links.

A portion of the money is given to winners, with a percentage going to local good causes.

Will Swinburne, who organised the race days with Neil Dodds and Barry Poskett, said: “It started out as a laugh just to relieve the boredom while we’re all on lockdown and create a bit of banter, and we hoped to get maybe 50 people involved.

“But the idea soon grew legs and it’s brilliant that we’ve managed to raise some money for good causes while making the most of our time indoors.”

Both Steele and Wing are from Aycliffe and have both been involved in local football over the years.

Swinburne added: “It’s fantastic to have Jason and Lewis involved, Aycliffe is a big community and they love the town.”

As well as cash winnings, prizes were given out for best dressed, with several of the Whats App group members posting pictures of them in race day attire.

Jason and Yazmin Steele generously donated their winnings back to the pot after a second successive lucky run, topping up the total raised to £1,000 – with £500 each going to The Oaks Sixth Form, to help fund extra-curricular activities, and Rocsolid, an Aycliffe-based charity which supports vulnerable young people and adults.

Peter Chappell, who took part in the race day and whose son attends Oaks Sixth Form, said: “The organisers are doing an unbelievable job in keeping spirits high through unprecedented times – it’s an event to look forward to and gets all the family involved.

“It was all for great local causes and, for me personally, our little boy will benefit from the fantastic donation to the Oaks Sixth Form for extra curriculum activities. I can’t thank Will and the team enough.”

Another of the race day punters was Paul McGeary, a well-known charity fundraiser himself, who added: “I thought they were flogging a dead horse by trying a virtual race night, but this one galloped from the off!

“To have 270-odd punters virtually stabled together on a Sunday afternoon is incredible, and the monies raised for charity is amazing.”

The £600 raised from the first race day was split between Defoe Crescent Care Home in Newton Aycliffe and St Teresa’s Hospice in Darlington.

The Iron Horse are organising their third virtual race day for Sunday May 3, with proceeds going to TheRockinR and Seconds Out Boxing Academy in Ferryhill.

Anyone who’d like to take part can follow the Iron Horse FC on Twitter at @NAWMCofficial

Iron Horse Race Day

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