Dave Thomas

DaveThomas

Dave Thomas

I was really sad to learn about Dave Thomas this week. To go blind is one of the absolute worst things I can think of. I am sure we all wish him the very best of luck.

Former Middlesbrough, Burnley and QPR star Dave Thomas to auction signed shirt collection for charity

A FORMER international footballer suffering from severe glaucoma is auctioning off highly-coveted memorabilia to raise cash for Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Dave Thomas, 65, who played as a winger for Middlesbrough FC in 1981 and for England eight times between 1974 and 1975 – as well as other top flight clubs including Burnley and QPR – has collected several signed football shirts for an auction at Tennants, Leyburn, on August 5.
Dave has already raised more than £20,000 for the charity and hopes the signed shirts and memorabilia will bring in more cash to help train guide dogs for people who are losing their sight.

“It’s a really good collection including a West Ham shirt from the 1980 winning FA Cup side, and a Tottenham Legends shirt from 1970,” he said.

Dave, who had a long career as a PE teacher after retiring from football, has spent months persuading each of the Premier League clubs to donate a shirt.

He said: “I wanted to do this for Guide Dogs for the Blind because it is not until you have sight problems yourself that you realise how important they are.

“It costs the charity £50,000 per dog, from birth to retirement, and there are around 5,000 dogs in the UK – they do a fantastic job and need to be supported.

“QPR have agreed to sponsor a dog which is brilliant.”

Mr Thomas said while he can see straight in front of him, his peripheral vision is failing – so his wife Brenda has to accompany and drive him everywhere.

The grandfather-of-four said: “With a dog I can be independent and get the bus.”

Guide Dogs fundraiser Susan Robinson said: “We would like to thank Dave for all the hard work he has put in to make this event happen. We would also like to thank Tennants for their generosity in facilitating the auction.

“When someone loses their sight, it shouldn’t mean losing their confidence and independence too. The charity Guide Dogs is here to make sure they don’t lose their freedom as well. It takes around 20 months of specialised training to transform a new born puppy into a confident guide dog, so every penny helps.”

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