Haywards Heath Town proudly hosts Florence's Go Gold Day

Although Haywards Heath Town supremo, Steve Isherwood, was missing due to self-isolation, his club did him proud as they hosted Florence's Go Gold Day at Hanbury Park on Saturday.

Friday, 10th September 2021, 1:46 pm
Florence, who celebrated five years in remission in February, received a signed ball from the Haywards Heath Town on her Go Gold Day

With another decent attendance, all visitors were able to donate or buy raffle tickets, with the club donating all raffle takings to little Florence's cause.

Alongside this, there was an exit collection as well. Isherwood has also pledged a donation from the club, as the Hanbury Park unit look to boost the coffers.

In May 2014, Florence was diagnosed with liver cancer. She was not yet two-and-a-half at the time.

Florence and her family spent the rest of 2014 in and out of the Royal Marsden in Sutton, the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital and Kings College Hospital London.

She received the maximum amount of chemotherapy her body could take between May and November of 2014.

Florence had major liver resection surgery at Kings, and had two thirds of her liver removed.

But Florence and her family received the amazing news that Florence was in remission in January 2014, and in February this year Florence reached five years in remission.

Isherwood, along with his wife, Jane, are very community aware and events like these will be more commonplace at Hanbury Park, after many years of the club being accused of hiding itself away.

Isherwood said: "I was so disappointed to miss the day. As well as hosting Florence and her family, it was also FA Cup day. We drew 1-1 with Horsham.

"Jane has told me the visitors from both sides loved what we were doing today. I don't know if it's been done here before, if it has, I fancy it was long ago.

"We have had young kids from our Youth Wing as mascots for our home games so far but the fabulous and inspirational Florence has allowed us, as a big and ugly football club, to extend our reach into our community to do good things.

"HHTFC is so much more than kicking a football at 3pm on a Saturday and our aim is to become a lively and valued part of the Mid Sussex community."

Jane Isherwood was at the game and she added: "Florence was a joy to see and in her element. Our team boss, Shaun Saunders, arranged for the players to sign a match ball that was a gift for Florence.

"She also had the thrill of walking out with the match referee, Rob Ablitt, carrying the match ball for the game. We thank Mr Ablitt for his kindness and support.

"After so many dark clouds over the years, it is great to see the sunshine bearing down on Hanbury Park. People were so complimentary today, be it the programmes, the atmosphere, the positive vibe, it really is a good place to be right now.

"As for Florence, I think we are going to make this an annual event after such warm and caring feedback."

As well as events like these, the club also supports two official charities, The Connor Saunders Foundation and Walk & Talk MMH.