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Our first winner: Rob Lowndes

Rob is a dedicated fan of Crawley Town, a volunteer for his beloved Whyteleafe FC and the organiser of a community football group with over 100 members.

Like many grassroots football clubs, Whyteleafe FC faced closure during the first stages of the global pandemic. However, the pandemic didn’t reckon with Rob Lowndes – a passionate local fan who set about saving his beloved club.

Rob rallied the troops in fundraising efforts, raising over £4,000 that proved vital for the survival of the club. But he didn’t stop there…

Rob also volunteered virtually all of his free time to Whyteleafe – and with no full-time staff, he performed a number of vital roles at the club, from carrying out track and trace checks for arriving supporters, to cleaning and disinfecting the barriers and goals around the pitch.

He also set up a local football group that now boasts over 100 members, allowing members of his community to stay active and enjoy playing the game every Tuesday.

As well as providing physical activity, the group has numerous mental benefits for the community, bringing people together, boosting morale and most importantly for Rob – it gives people a reason to smile again.

In Rob’s own words: “Again we find ourselves in another lockdown and no-one knows how this will affect one of the small grassroots clubs that are close to my heart. I know I don’t stand much of a chance of winning here, but I wanted to share part of my story.”

For his commitment to the Whyteleafe cause, to his commendable work in the community – we’d like to offer our congratulations to Rob– selected by Alan Shearer to be our first monthly winner of a prize worth up to £1,000.

Rob plans to put his winnings towards taking his pal to see the semi-finals and final of this summer’s European Championship.

If he’s our big winner at the end of the season, he’d like to use the prize worth up to £10,000 to renovate Whyteleafe’s changing rooms for the club and players.