20-May-2021 Source: Essex & Herts Air Ambulance
Steve Dukes, Head of Kit and Equipment for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club is to auction a unique haul of personally signed shirts, including from all 92 clubs in the Premier League and Football League pyramid, in memory of his late father Charlie Dukes.
The online auction will begin on Friday 14th May, lasting for one week to coincide with the one-year anniversary of his father’s untimely death and will raise vital funds for the work of Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT).
Signed shirts from the worlds of international football, rugby, Old Firm rivals Glasgow Rangers and Celtic and the National League will also be available to bid for in the auction.
On 18th May, 2020 Charlie (73) from Goffs Oak in Hertfordshire told his wife Jill that he was cycling to a nearby farm to pick up some sticks for use on his garden vegetable patch. It was a short ride and one that Charlie, an experienced cyclist, had made many times. Tragically it was a journey that Charlie did not complete.
A short while later a passer-by found Charlie at the side of a track, unconscious and with a serious injury to his head. An East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) team and a critical care team from EHAAT were quickly on the scene. The charity’s team prepared Charlie for the short flight to Royal London Hospital, a major trauma centre, where he could receive specialist care.
When Steve, his brother John and Jill arrived at the hospital doctors told them Charlie was on life-support. Sadly, despite the best efforts of the EHAAT team and the staff at the hospital, Charlie’s injuries were just too severe. He passed away five days later without regaining consciousness.
Despite the devastation of their loss, Steve says he and his family were relieved to know that everything that could have been done to help Charlie that day had been done thanks to the efforts of EEAST and EHAAT working together. Steve said, “We were comforted by the fact that because of the air ambulance dad got the best possible care at the scene, giving him the greatest chance of survival. I’d watched programmes about air ambulances in the past, but I didn’t realise they are charities. That’s why I want to do some fundraising, to say thank you.”