Pals rally round for Jacko

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Bedford Town are hosting a benefit match on Sunday (October 5) for a hugely popular stalwart who has Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Everyone in Bedford, not just football fans, are encouraged to attend the benefit day called ‘Jogging for Jacko’.

Steve Jackman, nickname ‘Jacko’, who loyally served the Eagles for 10 years as a player then first team coach, was recently struck down with the disease.

Jacko’s condition means he can no longer drive his own car. Jacko, who works for Educationline, a company recruiting qualified teachers in Manton Lane and who is also AFC Dunstable’s assistant manager, said: “It was a bit of a shock when I found out as it’s the worst kind of MS, but at least I now know what caused so much fatigue, which is my biggest ailment.

“Lee Stobbs, one of our players at Dunstable told my girlfriend Bianca who is the physio there he wanted to help raise money for an adapted car for me and they got the ball rolling. Lee has just completed running 170 miles in seven days in the Grand Canyon to raise money for my cause.”

Footballer Lee said: “Jacko’s condition means he can no longer take to the wheel and drive his own car. The adapted vehicle will give him his freedom back. He might have MS, but we’re not going to let MS have Jacko!”

Jacko said: “I sent a message to 55 potential players, thinking I would get enough for a team of 16 or so. I then quickly realised just how much they all mean to me when about 45 players returned my message indicating they would be happy to play.”

One of the organisers Deb Radford from Bedford Town FC Supporters club spoke warmly about Jacko saying: “When I speak to the fans about him he is known as the Bedford Town boy, his heart, like the fans who support him, is at Bedford Town.”

Jacko added: “I just can’t wait for the day. I’m so proud of everyone, what they’ve all done is such an achievement I’m really humbled by having everyone rally round. My boss and all my colleagues have been superb, as has everyone. There are so many people I have to thank. And of course my girlfriend Bianca. I truly am humbled and overwhelmed – I just hope I can do the same for others one day, I have been so moved by everyone’s generosity and support.

“I also have to thank the Chairman, David Howell, for allowing the match to be played at the Eyrie.”

There will also be a bouncy castle, raffle, BBQ and auction for great prizes including a week’s stay in a Villa in Spain. Jogging for Jacko is at 3pm, Bedford Town Football Club.