Budding rugby league star Ollie Goldstein always stood out on the pitch because of his talent – and his shock of blond hair.
And for the last 18 months Ollie’s been growing his hair for a charity that provides wigs for children with cancer.
Ollie, 10, who plays for Moldgreen ARLFC and Huddersfield RUFC, launched a fundraiser hoping to donate his hair and raise £500 for the Little Princess Trust.
But thanks to some help from his friends in rugby league – Huddersfield Giants heroes Leroy Cudjoe, Jermaine McGillvary and Eorl Crabtree – his total is now pushing towards an incredible £2,000!
This week Ollie finally made it to the hairdresser’s – Headquarters in Moldgreen – where Giants star Theo Fages snipped off four 12 inch long ponytails before hairstylist Paris Tully gave him a whole new look.
A beaming Ollie said: “I’m really proud because I’ve made a lot of money to help other children. I like my hair short but I might grow it again to help other people feel better.”
Mum and dad Nicki and Tony couldn’t be more proud and Tony said: “There are some lovely people around and this sums up just how amazing the rugby league community is. We’ve had people donating from as far away as Australia and Ireland.”
Ollie was in Huddersfield town centre with his mum before the first lockdown in March 2020 when he spotted a girl younger than him with no hair.
Ever curious, he asked his mum why the girl was bald and Nicki explained that she’d had cancer treatment. In no time at all Ollie had decided to grow his hair to help.
Making a complete wig costs £700 and the family hopes to reach £2,100 to provide three complete wigs before the fundraising closes.
Ollie has had some brilliant messages of support from his friends too.
Eorl Crabtree said: “Ollie is a genuine inspiration. From the very earliest of ages he showed a desire to be the best rugby player he could be, he uses his quick feet, tenacity and quick thinking to round players and leave them for dust.
“Ollie has always shown he is wise beyond his years and he has transferred his ability on the field to off the field.
“He understands what it means to help people be a team player and his latest fundraising exploits see him thinking of others yet again.
“He has grown his hair for one reason, to have it cut off and raise money towards the Little Princess Trust. This shows just the type of person he is and everyone who knows him is extremely proud.”
Jermaine McGillvary said: “My very first memory of Ollie was around six years ago on a Huddersfield Giants promo. I was helping coach Moldgreen under 6s & 7s.
“Ollie would have been around five playing the year up…smallest on the field by a mile! One of the bigger kids ran in the ball and this tiny kid smashes him.
“Two minutes later the same tiny kid gets the ball and steps about three kids and scores an outrageous try, I couldn’t believe it. So much so I went to the coach and said: ‘That kid is unreal. He’s class. I’ve never seen such aggression/determination in a kid that young.’ The coach then said: ‘Thanks…that’s my son!’
“Having watched Ollie play over the years he has gone from strength to strength and is still one of the best kids I have seen for his age. But for me what stands out more than anything is that he’s a top class person!
“Even at his young, tender age it’s no surprise to me what he has done for the Little Princess Trust charity. He is a credit to himself, his family and friends and to the town. Well done, Ollie!”
Leroy Cudjoe said: “What Ollie is doing for the Little Princess Trust is amazing. For a 10-year-old boy to be so caring, thinking and doing for others is fantastic.
“He’s a credit to his family and Moldgreen ARLFC. He’s not only donating his hair but has raised enough money to provide two wigs for two children who will benefit massively from them.
“Little Princess Trust, who rely heavily on community fundraisers such as this, do an incredible job providing real hair wigs for children who lose their hair to cancer and other conditions which I’m sure has a massive impact on a child’s confidence.
“I coach at Moldgreen and have watched Ollie grow into a fantastic rugby player. His passion and determination for the sport is amazing and those qualities aren’t just within sport as we’re witnessing now, they are personality traits for life.”
To support Ollie’s fundraiser go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/OllieGoldstein