FANS of one of Stoke-on-Trent’s most respected sports stars can drink to his health as well as support a treasured North Staffordshire charity as he sets off on a 26.2 mile challenge this Sunday
Former Stoke City star Andy Wilkinson is taking part in the London Marathon on April 22 to raise vital funds for The Donna Louise Hospice in Trentham. And now Congleton-based The Manning Brewers has added some froth to the occasion by launching the Wilko Warrior Pale Ale, with proceeds from sales donated to Andy's charitable fund. "Once we became aware of Andy's journey to raise vital funds for The Donna Louis Trust we turned our attention to how we could help,” explains Derrith Turner of The Manning Brewers. “We are proud to border the city of Stoke on Trent.
It’s a key focal point for us and we’re always championing what makes the Potteries beer scene unique. Knowing we could support a local hero in his campaign to raise vital funds for an amazing local charity is something we just couldn't resist.” Wilko Warrior is a straw-coloured session pale bitter available to pubs, bars and clubs from April 23.
The brewery is hoping as many outlets as possible will jump on board to help Andy in his goal of raising thousands for the much-loved charity. "We wish Andy the best of luck in his ongoing mission to raise funds for such a great cause, and of course on the day of the marathon itself," says Derrith. Fans’ favourite Andy, 33, has made repeated visits to The Donna Louise down the years. Indeed, Andy, now coaching with Stoke City's academy, donated half of the £100,000 raised by his testimonial to the charity – the other half went to another place held in great regard in North Staffordshire, the Dougie Mac.
He is delighted to receive the brewery’s backing. “It’s quite something to have a beer named after me,” he says, “especially one that will help a cause so close to my heart. “I would like to thank The Manning Brewers for their generosity. It’s a great beer and after 26.2 miles pounding the streets of London I might be ready for a few sips myself!” The thousands Andy is raising will go towards meeting The Donna Louise’s ever-present need for funds. Once the complex’s new unit is up and running, allowing the charity to continue to care for its users beyond the age of 19, costs will rise to £4.5m a year. “It’s such a good cause,” notes Andy. “The new unit will be an incredible addition. It means that young people won’t have to face that question of ‘Where am I going to go next?’. They know that someone is always going to be there for them.”
To sponsor Andy, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/run-wilko or text WLKO80 with the amount you wish to sponsor him, for example £5, to 70070. Wilko Warrior will be available at… Knypersley Cricket Club, Tunstall Road,Knypersley Tollgate Hotel and Leisure, Ripon Rd, Stoke-on-Trent Longton Cricket Club Trentham Road, Blurton, Stoke-on-Trent.
Appeal Wilko Warrior is a straw-coloured session pale bitter available to pubs, bars and clubs from April 23.
The brewery is hoping as many outlets as possible will jump on board to help Andy in his goal of raising thousands for the much-loved charity, anyone wishing to stock the ale is asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.