Kempston footballers achieve goal of making naked calendar for charity
A young woman's brave battle against cancer has inspired an entire football club team to get naked for a charity calendar.
Kempston Town FC launched the cheeky calendar on Friday, with Shelbee Clarke as the guest of honour.
Shelbee was treated for bone cancer four years ago but has now suffered a relapse and faces having her left leg amputated.
“If it means being cured for good then it’s something I’m willing to do,” she said.
Shelbee’s brother Tim is captain of Kempston Town FC and joined the naked line-up.
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The calendar’s slogan is ‘It takes balls to fight cancer’, and is a tribute to Shelbee’s courage and determination.
Diagnosed while she was studying for her A levels – just as she had been accepted for an American scholarship contract – she went through six gruelling round of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Despite getting meningitis in the middle of treatment, Shelbee was finally given the all clear in February 2014.
She spoke out to support the Teenage Cancer Trust charity, saying: “Coping with cancer is very hard but it depends how you look at it. During my treatment I always laughed about what was happening to me...laughing about it makes it easier to fight.”
Sadly Shelbee’s cancer returned this year. She may be unable to have chemo because it could give her heart failure after the maximum dose she had the first time round.
She is currently waiting to hear whether she will have to lose her leg – but vowed it would not stop her going to the calendar launch night.
“I will be staying my happy self and hop to the occasion and be legless after!” she joked. The football club will share profits from the calender between the Teenage Cancer Trust and Shelbee herself, to meet the costs of travelling to and from Birmingham for her specialist treatment.
Photographer Emily Gray took the calendar photos free of charge.
Club chairman, Gary Ingerson, said: “Local companies have been incredibly generous by giving prizes for the auction and raffle, and sponsoring every month of the calendar.”
The cost of the calendar will is just £6.
Retailers include Kempston Conservative Club, Greycourt Florist, Marika at MHD, Ebony & Ivory, Papillion Coffee House, Beauty by Kelly, Bianca L’erario Professional Hair Stylist, Summer Hill Farm Shop, Beauty of Bedford, The Curvy Bridal Boutique and Elegance by TLC.