Football marathon raises thousands for refugees

    Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys

    Sixth formers at Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys completed an exhausting 24-hour football fundraising effort for Save the Children on July 14-15.

    Year 12 student Tom Burnell was the driving force behind the marathon feat and convinced 50 of his classmates to play seven-a-side football overnight on the school’s 3G pitch.

    “They played their hearts out and overcame absolute exhaustion to power towards the 2pm deadline,” Tom said.

    Parents and staff volunteered to help all through the day and night – one supportive maths teacher delivered freshly cooked waffles with cream at 4am.

    The canteen brought vats of pasta and then ­bacon sandwiches early on the second day.

    The students celebrated their successful completion of the mammoth task by carrying Tom shoulder high from the pitch at the final whistle.

    He commented that having seen the plight of the refugee children he felt he had to do something worthwhile.

    The project has so far raised £2,200 which will be handed over to Save the Children in order to provide a number of safe play areas for youngsters.

    Jan Cobley, a local volunteer for the charity, cheered on the boys – and one girl – and expressed her heartfelt gratitude for all their efforts and determination.

    If you would like to donate, visit

    Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys 2