Former Scholes cricket captain James Noble has smashed his fundraising target for Barnsley Hospital’s Neonatal Unit and Sheffield Children’s Hospital by raising an incredible £63,000 in memory of his son Harry.

James, who set an initial target of £50,000, has been overwhelmed by people’s generosity.

He said: “I just want to thank everyone for being so generous. I wanted to raise £50,000 but to go higher than that is just amazing. The money will make such a difference to the two organisations, and I know they appreciate everyone’s efforts.”

James was raising money in memory of his son Harry who was born in January 2020 with irreversible brain damage. Despite the two hospitals’ best efforts, Harry passed away in August last year.

In memory of Harry and wanting to make a difference by raising as much money as possible for the two organisations, James held several sporting events. 

A masters rugby match took place at Underbank Rangers.

Overall James’s JustGiving page raised a total of £52,000 which included the money raised at the events.  

On Sunday August 22 a masters rugby game took place at Underbank Rangers. There was a great turn out of people to watch the fixture between a Rangers masters side and a select 13 of friends and ex-sports professionals including Rugby League legend Richie Hawkyard.

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Then on August 29 Scholes 2000/1 v Scholes 2009/10 championship sides went head-to-head in what was an entertaining afternoon of cricket. The following day Scholes played Hepworth in their annual cricket match. 

Finally on September 9 James held a Golf day at Crosland Heath where despite the afternoon rain everyone had a good time. 

On the events James said: “The rugby went really well, it was good to see so many people turning up for it. The cricket also went well and we raised about £7,000 over that weekend which was great.

“It was a good game of cricket and we nearly got everyone involved from both championship-winning teams, unfortunately a few people were abroad and couldn’t make it. I think it will be the last time we see some of them out on the pitch as some are getting on a bit now! 

“For the golf day we managed to get everyone around all 18 holes in the morning, but then the rain came and the second group only got to about the 12th hole. However, again we had in excess of over 200 people there and they all had a good time which is what mattered.”

Old friends line up for cricket. Pic by: SEAN DOYLE

James also held an online auction which included some ‘money can’t buy’ items such as a personal message from Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker and items of sporting memorabilia. The auction raised about £10,000.

On whether the fundraiser could become an annual event, James said: “Both the rugby club and golf club have said that they would like to host the events again next year.

“We’ll have to wait and see. I am just so happy that this year’s events have turned out so well.”