Rugby club donate £1,000 to little boy with half a heart

Finley McDonald with Peter Charlesworth.
Finley McDonald with Peter Charlesworth.

Generous members of Dewsbury Moor Amateur Rugby League Club have donated more than £1,000 to a little boy with an incurable illness.

Moor chairman Peter Charlesworth met tot Finley McDonald while on holiday in Spain and was touched by the youngster’s fighting spirit.

Four-year-old Finley, of Leigh, was born with the life-limiting condition hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which means he only has half a heart, and this year faces his third major heart operation.

Mr Charlesworth said: “We bumped into the family round the pool.

“He’s a poorly little fella – my first grandchild died after 12 days of the same thing.”

But now modern surgery techniques mean suffers can live longer and more fulfilling lives – and Mr Charlesworth wanted to do something to help. “He’s full of spirit,” he said. “And he’s always smiling – an unbelievable kid.”

The chairman took the story back to his club and they raised £700 in a raffle – which Finley helped draw. Mr Charlesworth’s son-in-law Allan Samme, managing director of Heckmondwike-based Lynx Energy, also donated £300.

Finley also has epilepsy after he had a stroke during his second operation. He spent five months in hospital and struggles to walk and talk. But he doesn’t let it stand in his way — he has been swimming with dolphins, been a mascot for Leigh Centurions and visited Disneyland Paris.

Mr Charlesworth said the cash would go towards special lights for the youngster’s therapy.