Andy completes 1,000 keepie-uppies at all 92 Football League clubs

May 24, 2023

Football fan Andy Cranch has reflected on a “magical, once-in-a lifetime experience” after completing 1,000 keepie-uppies at all 92 League clubs.

The 58-year-old clocked up 3,000 miles, starting at Cambridge United’s Abbey Stadium and finishing at Portman Road, Ipswich, raising more than £3,500 for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).

His fortnight-long challenge saw him visit all 92 Football League grounds, including Norwich City, Colchester United and Peterborough United, as well as iconic Premier League stadiums like Old Trafford, Anfield, Villa Park, Stamford Bridge and The Etihad Stadium.

At every one he completed 1,000 keepie-uppies – a feat he completed in around 15 minutes – before jumping back in his car and continuing his whistle-stop UK tour.

“It was intense, with lots of early starts and late nights,” he said. “However, what an amazing fortnight it was – even better and more enjoyable than I thought.

“I loved every minute and it’s something I’ll always remember as a magical, once-in-a-lifetime experience. We had a real adventure and met some wonderful people.

“Everyone was extremely generous and we were made so welcome everywhere we went.

“There were so many highlights that I couldn’t possibly pick out one or two. I loved visiting all the big stadiums and it was great completing my keepie-uppies in front of giant stands or alongside statues of legends. However, I also loved going to the smaller grounds and everyone was so hospitable.”

Andy, who was joined on his travels by wife Ali, was on the books at Exeter City as a youngster before drifting into non-league football and playing for Histon, Cambridge City, Shelford and Ely City.

He is player-manager of the Over-55 England Veterans and represented England’s Seniors at the 2022 World Cup, in Thailand.

The Cambridge resident said money is still rolling in and he was delighted to raise so much for EACH, which supports families and cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across East Anglia.

“I couldn’t be happier,” said Andy, who has a special connection as sister-in-law Jules Gibson-Cranch is Locality Wellbeing Lead at The Treehouse, in Ipswich.

“It’s a very special local charity and one that so many of us feel strongly about. EACH has touched, helped and supported so many people and that’s why I was so determined to do whatever I could to help.”

Prior to his challenge, Andy, who owns Banquet Inn mobile bar and Crofters ice cream and coffee shop at Lammas Land, in Newnham Park, paid a visit to the EACH hospice at Milton, where he was shown around by Community Fundraiser Helena Davis.

His challenge started on 9 May and finished on Monday (22 May), with his fundraising challenge featuring on that night’s BBC Look East programme.

There is still time to make a donation by heading here.