Posted: 11.08.20 at 12:38 by LAYTH YOUSIF @HitchinNubNews
A five-year-old from Codicote near Hitchin who raised a staggering £30k+ for charity has been rewarded for her efforts with a special visit from the FA Cup.
Betty-Leigh Allinson rode a mile a day throughout the whole of lockdown for north Herts Garden House Hospice Care after learning to ride a bike during the pandemic.
Prompted by an urge to help her nanny Jean Allinson who works at the much-loved hospice, Betty donned a different football shirt every day on her ride – gathering huge support from the football community from Hitchin to Hong Kong, Arlesey to Australia, Stotfold to the United States, and everywhere in between, as well as the FA Cup holders.
The inspirational five-year-old whose determined efforts come rain or shine also provided many with a ray of light during the height of the pandemic in what was a challenging and worrying period for us all.
Brave Betty was even undeterred by mishaps and got on her bike every day in her bid to raise cash.
Despite falling off five times in a single day on one occasion, she completed her challenge with a smile – as she did every single day for 100 days.
So it was only fitting, after having completed her task last week, Betty was rewarded with a little surprise in recognition of her efforts.
With football in Betty’s DNA - through dad Lee being a rising managerial star in non-league circles; along with her grandfather Ian, who will be known to many loyal Arsenal supporters as a true Gunners icon after his exploits in north London in 1987 – it was only fitting the world’s oldest knockout trophy was taken along to her home village to greet her.
Arsenal FC – who lifted their 14th FA Cup trophy with a stunning 2-1 victory over Chelsea in the showpiece final at Wembley earlier this month – brought the hallowed piece of silverware along to give Betty a surprise she would never forget.
As Betty cycled into Codicote FC’s ground with dad Lee she was presented with the FA Cup – in front of a large crowd of friends, family and well-wishers.
Mum Faye told Hitchin Nub News - also present at the event: “We are so, so proud of her, she’s been amazing throughout all of this.
“She loved the fact Arsenal brought the FA Cup to see her. We have to say a big thank you to the club and staff for bringing the trophy to Betty – and for everyone who turned up to support her on Sunday.
“The money she has raised will really help the hospice.
“We love her to bits - she’s incredible.”
Arsenal FC also donated a large amount of official merchandise for people to buy on the day – with every penny raised donated to the Garden House Hospice.
Watch the emotional moment Betty first saw the FA Cup with our exclusive video footage on the Hitchin Nub News Facebook page.
Garden House Hospice Care supports the communities of Hitchin, Stevenage, Letchworth and the surrounding towns of north Herts as well as villages in Central Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.
The charity provides personalised and compassionate palliative end of life care for those in need following a diagnosis of a life limiting illness.