WHILE ENJOYING a few pints with his mates, dog lover Nigel Troth made a rash promise – offering to climb one of the world's most famous mountains, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, in aid of a greyhound charity.
The 45-year-old bookmaker from Sheffield, South Yorkshire may have had second and even third thoughts the next morning, but he stuck to his promise.
And now, thanks to his efforts, Owlerton Stadium's Retired Greyhounds Fund has had its biggest single donation, after he raised £10,320. The fund can look forward to opening its £30,000 kennels at Wortley this month where the dogs can be housed comfortably while awaiting new owners.
Mr Troth, who had no previous mountaineering training or experience, said: “I've never climbed a mountain before and I never will again. Standing at almost 20,000ft at the top, the views are, of course, spectacular. And having been associated with Owlerton for 25 years, I'm really pleased to have done this for the fund, but it was very, very, hard and I have to say, I did nearly turn back a few times."
Accompanied by a few friends, Nigel started his gruelling climb on November 6. It took seven days to complete, during which he endured freezing night temperatures, rain and snow and had to negotiate everything from thick forest to vertical rock faces, but Nigel and his friends soldiered on to the summit.
Chairman of Sheffield Retired Greyhound Fund Jon Carter said: "There's been huge anticipation over the new kennels and when we'd finally manage to open them, but now, thanks to Nigel's amazing feat we've done it.
“The old kennels were becoming very run-down and in danger of overcrowding. The new ones, at Gosling Moor Farm...will serve as a superb halfway house for the dogs while we work to re-house them.”
* Anyone interested in adopting a retired greyhound as a family pet, please call Lynda Cattlin on 0114 288 8300.