Derby County Players' Festive Warm Up For Charity

23 November 2011

Derby county players dressed as santas with william and abi furlong

Derby County 'Santas' with Rainbow's Paula North and Ali and William Furlong

We thank the Derby County players and the University of Derby for their support. The players really got into the spirit of the event, and we hope some of them will join us on the run on December 11 

Paula North, Rainbows Children's Hospice Community Fundraiser

Ahead of the annual Rainbows Children's Hospice 'Santas on the Run' events, a group of Derby County players were put through their paces in a special Santa training session on November 22.

The group of players, which included striker Nathan Tyson, along with Rainbows volunteers donned red-and-white suits for a warm-up at their Moor Farm Training Ground in Derby.

East Midlands charity, Rainbows Children's Hospice, provides care and support for seriously ill children and young people. It runs annual Santa fun runs to raise vital funds for its work, with all the runners being given a Santa suit.

This year's runs will be held at: 

  • Elvaston Castle, Derby. Sunday December 11 at 11am. Distance:  2.2 miles and 4.4 miles.
  • Rushcliffe Country Park, Nottingham. Sunday December 18 at 11am.Distance 2.5 miles.

The University of Derby supported the warm-up session as part of its sponsorship, now in its third year, of the Rainbows Children's Hospice events.

Watching the fun and games was William Furlong and his parents. William is 17 months old and has a terminal and extremely rare brain condition, called Lissencephaly which means his brain did not develop properly. 

William's condition wasn't detected until he was several months old and he is severely visually impaired, fed via a tube and has severe epilepsy.

His mother Ali Furlong said: "William and the rest of our family are receiving support from Rainbows.  It isn't easy to describe life when you have a terminally ill child.  Every moment with them is precious, but the pressure on everyone in the family can be very high. 

"Rainbows provide everyone in our family with a place to go to relax and access the support we desperately need.  Simply put, they understand.

"I will be running with lots of friends and family on December 11 to raise money for Rainbows.  It would be amazing if others could also join in!"

Paula North, Rainbows Children's Hospice Community Fundraiser, added: "We thank the Derby County players, and the University of Derby, for their support. The players really got into the spirit of the event, and we hope some of them will join us on the run on December 11.

"I'd encourage people to have a go at one of the Santa runs and raise sponsorship as a great way to get into the Christmas spirit."

Peter Allen, University Marketing Director, added: "As someone whose own family has benefited from the work Rainbows does I am very pleased that the University has been able to support these events for the third year running.

"I hope this training session will inspire the 'Santas' to even greater fundraising heights."

To enter either of the Santas on the Run events go to website  and book online, or telephone Rainbows Children's Hospice on telephone 01509 952 1133.

The Santa Fun Run Registration Fee is £10 for adults and £5 for children under 13 (this includes a Santa suit, goodie bag, medal and certificate). Children under 13 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
Adult entrants are asked to try and raise a minimum of £20 in sponsorship

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