Former soccer star Iain kicks off Pendleside’s Jingle Bell Jog

Former soccer star and football league manager Iain Dowie kicked off the launch of the Pendleside Jingle Bell Jog which hopes to raise thousands of pounds for the hospice.

Iain, who played for Southampton, Crystal Palace and West Ham United in the Premier League and went on to manage a handful of Football League clubs as well as winning 59 caps for Northern Ireland, is now business director at Alexander Grace Law.

The legal services company, based in Hapton, is sponsoring the first Jingle Bell Jog which takes place at Alkincoats Park, Colne, on Sunday, December 5.

Iain, who has also been a pundit for Sky Sport, was joined by his colleagues from Alexander Grace when the sponsorship was announced at the hospice.

The festive jog replaces last year’s Santa Dash which, because of Covid 19 restrictions, was held virtually in people’s homes and gardens.

This year it is hoped that between 200 and 300 adults and children will take part on the 5k course.

Pendleside’s community engagement officer Leah Hooper said: “We don’t mind if people run, jog or walk the course with their family and friends. We just want people to have a fun time as well as raising money for the hospice.

“It costs £7,500 a day to keep Pendleside running so every penny raised is so important.”

Alexander Grace Law held three balls pre Covid and half of the proceeds went to Pendleside. Because the 2020 and 2021 balls were cancelled the firm decided to sponsor the Jingle Bell Jog.

 James Young, co-founder of the business, said: "Our annual ball raises a huge amount for the hospice, but sadly we have not been able to run this for the past two years because of Covid, yet we know the hospice needs support now more than ever, so we wanted to do something to support them.

 "The Jingle Bell Jog is a great event to be part of. It's something fun to do during the festive period. We urge everyone to get involved and raise important funds."

Registration costs £12 for an adult and £6 for a child. Participants will receive a jingling Santa hat, a fundraising pack and a finisher’s medal. Full Santa suits will be available to buy on the day at £2.50 each.

Apart from the registration fee entrants are being asked to raise as much in sponsorship as possible to help continue supporting people with life-limiting illnesses and their families.