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Football4Autism Walk to Raise Awareness of Autism

26 February 2017

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A ‘Football4Autism’ walk to raise awareness of autism, which will see walkers complete their marathon trek at the Proact Stadium, is taking place in April.

The 21-mile walk will start at Rotherham United’s New York Stadium on Tuesday, April 21 and take in both Sheffield clubs before finishing at the Proact.

Chesterfield-based Ray Watts, whose seven-year-old son Jake is autistic, came up with the idea after speaking to the club’s head of media & communications, Nick Johnson and Community Trust chief John Croot.

When the the hospitality box in the Community Stand was turned into a pop-up sensory room for the day for the Northampton Town fixture earlier this season, Ray and Jake attended the game.

Ray has joined forces with Autism Plus to organise the walk and it is hoped that around 30-40 people will take part.

“The awareness is getting there, but the huge audience of the football community just allows you to address it a lot faster and to approach a lot more people,” said Ray. 

“We want to raise awareness and get the message across to the fans and then to their friends and their family. We want to help everyone understand what autism is and what is involved with it.”

A limited number of places on the walk are available. To register your interest in taking part, please contact Andy Girdham on 07855 237181 or email 

To get involved via social media, use the #football4autism hashtag. Donations can be made by texting £3 to FOOT04.

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