Football Pitch Fundraisers
1886. Hughie Higginson
1887. Freddie Xavi
Hughie Higginson and Freddie Xavi, aged 12, from Lancashire, have raised over £220,000 for child cancer patients by running 100km around football pitches across the UK.
Hughie was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in September 2020 and along with the support of his best friend Freddie, they both set about on a challenge to run 100km around the 92 football pitches in the Premier League and English Football League to fundraise for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital in thanks for the support Hughie has received over the course of his treatment, which is still ongoing. Their challenge has inspired thousands of people to donate, with funds from their appeal helping to provide frozen drink pouches to soothe the throats of young cancer patients in every children’s hospital in England.
Hughie and Freddie were presented with their awards by Nigel Huddleston, Minister for Sport, Tourism and Civil Society, at Blackpool FC (pictured below).
Nigel Huddleston, Minister for Sport, Tourism, Heritage and Civil Society, said:
“Freddie and Hughie are deserving winners of the Prime Minister’s Points of Light Award and their fundraising epitomises what the award is all about. They have changed young peoples’ lives for the better and continue to inspire others as they travel around the country’s football grounds raising funds to help those in need.”
Nigel Evans, Freddie’s local MP for Ribble Valley, said:
“I am absolutely delighted that the incredible work of Freddie and Hughie is being recognised in this way. Such positivity has come from these youngsters and it goes to show how much can be achieved when there is such determination and commitment as has been displayed. Cancer is always a tragedy, however it is so much worse when children are affected. The fact that these two young people have done such an enormous amount to raise funds to help support others is heart-warming. They are both role models and examples for their generation.”
Andrew Stephenson, Hughie’s local MP for Pendle, said:
“I feel honoured to call Hughie a constituent of Pendle. The work he and his friend, Freddie, have done and the amazing effort it’s taken for them to fundraise over £220,000 for child cancer patients is nothing short of miraculous. I’m thrilled Hughie’s actions and bravery whilst fighting acute lymphoblastic leukaemia has been recognised by the Prime Minister’s Point of Light award and hope it serves as inspiration for all.”
Hughie and Freddie said:
“We are humbled and honoured to receive the Points of Light recognition from the Prime Minister. What started as one friend simply wanting to help another through his cancer treatment has turned into an amazing journey where we have met some truly inspirational and incredibly kind people. We have been able to raise thousands of pounds to help poorly children at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and other children with cancer across the country, and we hope to continue to raise money together as best friends and inspire other children to help their friends too.”
Pictured above: the boys on stage at a Pride of Britain celebration in November 2021