USW Football players and staff set to walk Pen y Fan in aid of Cancer Research Wales

Pictured with his University of Glamorgan 2009/10 team mates, Rhys Kelleher second row fourth from left.

by Michael Wicherek & Editor

PLAYERS from the University of South Wales Men’s 1st and 2nd football teams begin a series of fundraising events by climbing Pen y Fan today.

Their efforts are in memory of former team mate and USW Criminology and Criminal Justice graduate Rhys Kelleher, and in support of the charity Cancer Research Wales.

The former Cardiff City Academy player and police officer was 28 when he died of oesophageal cancer last year. After graduating, he worked in Malaysia as a football coach and English teacher for a couple of years before returning home to join Gwent Police.

Head coach Lee Kendall will lead the team as they climb Pen y Fan, a 886-metre peak in the Brecon Beacons National Park and the highest in south Wales.

“Between January and March I also plan to have a number of charity and ‘in memory of’ events,” said Kendall.

“We are hoping to play Cardiff City Under 23s, South Wales Police Select XI and have an alumni game to bring some former players back to help us raise the profile for Cancer Research in Rhys’ memory.”

Cancer Research Wales is the leading Welsh-based funder of cancer research. It finances clinical and laboratory based cancer research in universities and hospitals across the country.

On average, one in three people will face cancer in their lives.  Today’s fundraiser aims to generate £500 for the charity. Donations are through Just Giving.

However, the climb up Pen y Fan is not the first time players from USW Football have been involved in charity work this season.

Several USW teams contributed by donating to Pontypridd Foodbank in their last games before Christmas. The idea formed as the week’s ‘dummy club’ which is where players are required to bring an item to the match.