Hospice bowled over by record-breaker James’s Tailenders’ £10,000!

Burnley-born England record wicket-taker James Anderson and his co-hosts on BBC cricket podcast Tailenders have hit a massive total for Pendleside Hospice.

James, 39, and his cricket-mad co-presenters Radio 1 DJ Greg James, musician and ex-indie band Maccabee member Felix White, and businessman Matt Horan have donated £10,000 through their Go Well charity fund.

The money was raised by sales of their own branded spirit Go Well Gin which is distilled and bottled by Batch Gin in Burnley.

Their Go Well Fund aims to support people through charities across the country who have been adversely affected by Covid-19.

Pendleside was the first to be chosen by James – who has flown out to Australia for this winter’s Ashes series – after his grandad Danny Atkinson was cared for by the hospice before he died in hospital aged 82.

Mr Atkinson was James’s No 1 fan and had followed his cricket career from being a youngster at Burnley Cricket Club in the 1990s. He was formerly a lecturer at Nelson and Colne College and an active member of St John’s RC Church, Ivy Street.

Johdi Dinsdale, director of operations at Batch, said: “We were delighted when James and his friends approached us after they decided they wanted a serious side to their podcast.

“They set up the Go Well charity fund so they could give back to society especially during the pandemic. It was extra special for us when they chose Pendleside to be one of the organisations receiving their donations because it is also our charity of the year.”

There are two versions of the Go Well gin, a regular London Gin recipe and one with a more spicey mango flavour.

Johdi said: “The reason for the flavour is that they have an in-joke running through the podcast when they comment ‘It was a bit spicey that!’.”

Podcast member Matt said: “With a shared love of gin we wanted to come together and celebrate the genius local production methods of Burnley’s Batch boutique distillery.

“Throughout lockdown we have had we’ve had fun developing our own unique flavours and build our own little brand that could engage with the cricket community and support the projects of our Go Well charity.”

Pendleside chief executive Helen McVey said” “It was a fantastic gesture by Jimmy and his podcast team and a real surprise when they contacted us to say they wanted to donate £10,000 to the hospice.

“Obviously, it’s been a really difficult couple of years for us, and donations like this have helped maintain our services to the highest standards. The donation was very gratefully received.”

James, who attended St Mary’s RC Junior School and St Theodore’s RC High School, became England’s highest ever wicket taker this summer. He has now claimed 632 test wickets and more than 1,000 first class victims.