As New Year’s resolutions go, it was a pretty extreme one.
On New Year’s Eve 2013 Ben Boothman, a well known face in the Rochdale Amateur Rugby League community, pledged he had tasted his last drop of alcohol for a whole year.
A challenge by most people’s standards, even tougher when you spend your weekends running the Rochdale Cobras Rugby League side. But when you consider Ben owns The Flying Horse, a busy pub in the centre of the town, the feat becomes even more impressive.
And on New Year’s Eve, as the clock passed midnight, Ben marked his impressive feat with his first taste of his beloved ale in over a year and all in the aid of a charity very close to his heart.
In 2013, Ben’s seven-year-old son Oliver, already a budding rugby league player himself, was diagnosed with Alports Syndrome. A rare genetic condition of the kidney which breaks up the membrane of the organ it can lead to hearing loss, affect the eyes and cause eventual kidney failure. There is currently no known cure.
Sufferers can undergo kidney transplants, but will often need to have multiple transplants throughout their lives as the disease stays in the body.
And the rugby league community, along with the pubs regulars have rallied around his efforts. With a flurry of last minute donations, alongside previously pledged funds, his total tipped £10,000 over the course of the night. A huge sum which will go a long way supporting suffers as well as funding research into a cure.
Speaking of the last 12 months Ben said: “It’s been good. The first six months were harder, and so was the summer during the league season.”
“I even decided not to go to Magic Weekend in order to resist the temptation of a drink.”
“It got a bit easier after that but last few weeks have been hard because I knew New Year’s Eve was looming.”
Ben will continue raising money until March and is still taking donations through his Just Giving page.
To donate visit www.justgiving.com/Ben-Boothmam