IF ANY of the National League’s many member clubs in attendance at the annual pre-season meeting last Wednesday were in need of some inspiration ahead of the big kick-off, they certainly found it.
In amongst the usual summer rule run-down, raised hands and divisional housekeeping, a special speech was delivered by a man who knows a thing or two about winning when it matters the most.
Kevin Webber was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer in August 2014, but he simply refuses to accept defeat.
Webber, a huge Non-League football fan and a follower of AFC Wimbledon, completed a 400-mile epic walk alongside broadcasting great Jeff Stelling.
It left his doctor lost for words and he helped present a cheque for well over £5,000 to Prostate Cancer UK this week – and the reception he received at Walsall’s Bescot Stadium was befitting of his relentless quest to not be beaten.
“I would like to think this part of my life mirrors that of the football club that I follow,” Webber said. “I have been watching football since 1979. My team epitomises the way I feel about life. Whatever knockbacks you come up against, you need to rise above it and be strong. I would like to give my thanks to the National League and to sponsors Vanarama for all the vital funds raised.
“This is a cause very close to my heart and I’m honoured by the reaction.”
“We met Kevin on the rocky hills over the Cotswolds and what a journey he has been on since,” said the league’s Colin Peake, who presented the cheque alongside board member Charlie Clapham.
“His bravery and commitment has amazed everyone and it was a privilege to have him in attendance.”
National League chairman Brian Barwick added: “This has been a terrific effort by all involved, particularly those who joined Jeff Stelling’s March for Men from both the League and Vanarama.
“We’re delighted to collectively play our part in supporting Prostate Cancer UK, to raise funds and awareness of the most common cancer in men.
“This season we’ll be continuing our relationship with the charity and look forward to drawing more attention to the excellent work they do across the country. We thank all the football fans who have already been so supportive and ask that they continue to get behind a cause which affects so many men and their families.”