Team takes on the Cheviot

The Alnwick RFC U11s team at the Cheviot marker
The Alnwick RFC U11s team at the Cheviot marker

A group of youngsters took on a walking challenge inspired by a boy with liver disease to raise cash for charity.

The six-hour walk up and around Cheviot saw more than 20 members of the Alnwick Rugby Club U11s team, and their families and dogs, take part to raise money for the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation.

William Sykes

William Sykes

The event, last Sunday, was inspired by William Sykes, the seven-year-old brother of U11s team member Daniel.

William is currently undergoing treatment, on a long-term basis, at Leeds General Infirmary, the nearest referral unit for children in the North East with liver conditions.

Paul Sykes, William and Daniel’s dad, said: “The lads are pleased to have supported a charity close to the heart of a team mate, and I would like to thank the coach Paul Burke who chose to support the charity this year.

The money raised will help the work of a lesser-known charity whose work is important to children across the North East.”

William has a condition called portal hypertension.

He has a blockage in a main vein into his liver which means blood pressure into the liver is not right. This causes back pressure and the only way it can escape is to bleed internally in to the throat and stomach. If left unchecked, it could prove fatal.

He goes to hospital every few months for three days to have the bulges in his throat and stomach sealed to prevent internal bleeding.

This is life-long treatment. It is a rare illness in children and Newcastle RVI, where he was first diagnosed, sees on average one case every 10 years.

William needs to be treated at Leeds until he is an adult and then he can be treated at the Freeman in Newcastle.

The hospital has one of only three specialist child liver wards in the UK, the others are in Birmingham and London.

William lives a normal life but cannot take part in contact sports.

So far the group has raised £843 for the challenge but is hoping to hit £1,000.

Sponsor the walkers at