Cricket says “Thank you NHS”

Despite rain stopping play it was great to see England’s cricket test team back in action yesterday and we are looking forward to seeing the competition resume between the West Indies and England.

A great touch was that on the training kits for the England players the names of NHS staff were printed as a thank you to all of the key workers that have gone over and above during the pandemic.

Ben Stokes is deputising as captain because usual captain Joe Root’s wife is due to give birth and with the players all being kept in a bubble he decided not to play. However he did say:

 “We want to take the time to honour the brave key workers who went into bat for their country under the toughest circumstances. It’s only fitting that we use this series as an opportunity to ‘raise a bat’ in their honour”

England will honour key workers who have helped during the coronavirus pandemic by wearing their names on their training shirts during the #raisethebat Test series against West Indies.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has announced that the three-game series – being held behind closed doors at The Ageas Bowl and Emirates Old Trafford due to the coronavirus pandemic – will be named #raisethebat as a tribute to those cricketing heroes on the frontline.

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Seventy Five years of saying thank you!

This week has marked the seventy fifth anniversary of the D-Day landings and what a moving week it has been.

There have been services all over the United Kingdom and also in France to remember all those who gave their lives so that future generations could enjoy the freedom they fought  for. When the news reports and historians talk about these events the thing that shook me was the young age of so many of the soldiers that were lost. Many were only fifteen. Fifteen years old, not old enough in today’s world to take their GCSEs, not old enough to leave school, still classed as a child. What a sacrifice these lads made and how the world has changed because of it.

Watching the footage of soldiers jumping from the small boats in full battle kit, carrying backpacks and hearing how many drowned before even reaching the shores is truly horrific. This is an event that shaped our life and history. We should all learn from these lessons and teach future generations the horror of war and we hope that this is never forgotten and the world has learned a lesson.

I saw a report from a veterans groups saying that at the 60th anniversary one particular group had to hire two coaches to bring all the veterans to the commemorative service, this time the same veteran group has one single member well enough to travel.  As the numbers dwindle the sight of veterans becomes more poignant until eventually it will be down to the generations who have not lived through the horrors to take up the mantle.

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A hero and an absolute legend…

We read so many features about people and the word hero and legend are often banded round quite easily. We saw a feature recently about the former Squadron Sergeant Major of the Rhodesian Special Air Service – Jock Hutton. Jock tried to join the British military during World War Two but was initially too young. He joined at 18 and was involved in the D-Day landings. Despite being injured and evacuated back to the UK he returned again to fight as soon as he was declared fit. He carried on with the military after the war and took part in many other military campaigns.

In 1955 he participated in the first selection course for the Rhodesian SAS and remained in Rhodesia. In 2014 Jock again parachuted into Normandy but this time to help with the 70th Anniversary commemoration of those landings. He wore his famous red beret but this time was strapped to a member of the Red Arrows display team. Together they were able to drop into the same zone that he had all of those years before. He still had that same fighting spirit which enabled him to do this at the age of 89.

As the years go by fewer and fewer of these heroes remain and it is important that the things they did never get forgotten and those that survived and indeed those that didn’t were the true heroes and legends that we owe so much.

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“Spiderman” saves toddler in Paris …….

Mamoudou Gassama, an immigrant originally from Mali has been hailed a hero in Paris. The young man scaled four flours to reach a four year old child who was hanging from a fourth floor balcony. The rescue took place in Northern Paris last Saturday evening. Footage of the 22 year old rescuer pulling himself up from balcony to balcony has gone viral.

Firefighters had been called to the incident but by the time they had arrived the child had already been rescued. The city officials have praised his bravery and he was even invited to meet the French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace.

Gassama is a migrant with no papers and has no right to housing, a job or even to remain in France. The French President has promised him documents allowing him to stay and a job with the city’s fire and emergency service. The young migrant was also awarded a bravery medal.

The child’s father was detained on charges of alleged parental neglect.

Gassama said that he acted on impulse and didn’t realise how dangerous his actions were until he had rescued the child. All’s well that ends well. Certainly. a hero in our eyes!!


Can Banana Crumble members help find a real hero….

A Facebook post which was published on the 20th April shows that real heroes do still exist.

Last week, a man dived into the choppy Turkish sea and saved a local 7 year old boy who was out swimming in the dangerous conditions. The waves were extremely high and flags had been put up warning people not to swim. The man risked his own life to save a young stranger. The waves and currents pushed him into the pontoon but he managed to drag the boy out.

We want to help try and find this brave man so he can get the recognition he deserves.

Banana Crumble thinks you are a true hero.

Do you recognise this man?

Email us at if you have any more information.


Dream comes true for a young Arsenal fan….

With all the bad publicity that footballers get from the press it’s always great to read a story that makes you smile. This was the case after Hector Bellerin (of Arsenal) saw some photos from one of their  previous games….

After seeing the above photo, Bellerin reached out to his social media fan base to find out who the young girl was as he wanted to surprise her with his match shirt. With the power of social media, that is what exactly happened. Bellerin contacted the girl’s parents, and then spent the whole day with the young girl and her brother – playing video games, cards and completing many other activities. Isn’t it great to see these role models spreading smiles to people’s faces and using their fame for good.

Well done Hector Bellerin.


A real life Superman stops van falling off a bridge …

A police officer held on to a van to stop it falling as it teetered on the edge of a motorway bridge. The driver of the van was trapped inside when PC Martin Willis arrived at the scene on the A1(M) in Yorkshire on 1st December 2017.

PC Willis was the first to arrive at the scene after the van skidded off the road in icy conditions. PC Willis said that he grabbed on to the van to stop it swaying in the wind. He managed to hold onto the van and keep it steady for 15 minutes until help arrived and they were then able to free the driver. PC Willis is also know as Motorway Martin to his twitter followers and took to social media to reveal his heroics.

He said “It was scary as I was worried another collision could occur and hit us on the hard shoulder as traffic was speeding past. I’m only doing my job though. It was balancing so I just had to hold it still”

It was revealed that the van driver remained calm throughout his ordeal but was probably unaware of just how precariously his van was balanced and how big the drop was beneath him. The driver was taken to Leeds General Infirmary with serious but not life threatening injuries. West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue service had to use ropes to drag the van to safety.

Motorway Martin posts tweets about road safety, dangerous conditions and traffic incidents in his local area. His Twitter Bio says “I patrol the iconic M62 from junction 22 to 27!”. His tweet about the incident was posted at 11.16am on the 1/12/2017 and said the following:

1st on the scene of this collision on the #A1M this morning and faced with a vehicle balancing over the edge of a bridge with the driver trapped! After holding on to the vehicle to stop it swaying in the wind I can’t begin to desribe my relief when @WYFRS arrived on scene!

PC Adam Pace tweeted “Your superman cape isn’t in this photo though! Must have come off in the fracas!”. So many further posts followed claiming PC Willis was a “hero”, “you deserve a medal”, “what a brave man” and in all of the responses PC Willis was humble and says that “he was only doing his job!” What a hero – a real life superman!


Pride of Britain Awards

It is not often that you see grown men cry in public but watch the 2017 Pride of Britain Awards and you can’t fail to be moved. So many truly inspirational people in one place. The Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain Awards in conjunction with TSB celebrates those people who have truly made a difference to people’s lives.

The winners of all the awards are nominated by members of the public, they come from all over the country, are a full range of ages and come from all avenues of life. These are people who have given up time to volunteer, who have acted selflessly, raised huge amounts of money for charity and been totally inspirational. We could all learn so much from these people and all that they have done. So many of us focus on the bad when we should be looking at these winners and celebrate with them  for their remarkable achievements. From the thousands and thousands of nominations a shortlist is decided upon and the final winners are selected by a judging panel made up from celebrated people from public life.

The awards, hosted by Carol Vorderman at Grovesnor House in London, had lots of famous people from the world of politics, entertainment and sport there to present the trophies. The Duke of Cambridge was also there to present some of the awards.

One story that really links to our idea of positive news was that of Sarah Hope, who was awarded a Special Recognition Award. Sarah, her mother Elizabeth and her daughter were on their way to visit her twin sister who had just had a baby when devastation struck. An out of control bus mounted the pavement and careered into the family. Sarah’s mother Elizabeth was killed and her daughter seriously injured. As a result of her injuries Sarah’s two year old daughter Pollyanna had her right leg amputated below the knee.

After losing her mother and the severe and life changing injury to her daughter which would leave most of us struggling to deal with this, Sarah has made a difference to so many people. Sarah has fought long and hard to help child amputees both in this country and abroad. Prosthetics used to only be available to give children the opportunity to walk but no child just wants to walk and with Sarah’s persistence and lobbying an extra £1.5 million pounds has been provided to provide children with the chance of sports prosthetics which enables children to be children and do things like all other children. From a story so cruel and sad has come a story of true inspiration and one that has made an improvement to so many people’s lives.

Twenty year old Fraser Johnston set up a pioneering scheme where he takes the elderly residents of nursing homes out on a specially adapted bike called a trishaw . He has a seat for two fastened  to the front of his bike. He takes his passengers on trips to visit local landmarks. To see the faces of the passengers as they enjoy trips out to the country was amazing and to hear these elderly people talking about how much difference these trips had made to their lives was truly inspirational. Many of the residents would otherwise spend all day indoors as they were immobile. Youngsters generally get such bad press and to see a twenty year old give so much to the community and make a real difference was inspirational.

Young Fundraiser of the year was George Mathias, who after  seeing his baby brother desperately ill at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital,  decided he wanted to find a way to say thank you to the staff for saving his baby brother. George came up with the idea of a sponsored jog and the whole idea has snowballed. Celebrities run with George and as they finish they nominate another to run the next mile with George. To date George has raised over £35,000. The first £25,000 was used to buy four specially heated cots for premature babies. For such a young child to come up with an idea and to have the motivation to see it through is amazing.

Another true inspiration is Moin Younis who was awarded Teenager of Courage. Moin was diagnosed with Epidermis Bullosa when he was two months old and his parents were told he probably wouldn’t survive past his first birthday. Epidermis Bullosa means that Moin lacks the protein needed to bind the layers of skin together which mean his skin is so delicate it tears and blisters with even the slightest touch. Moin is now 17 years old and has been committed to helping others and has been Young Ambassador at Acorns Children’s Hospice. Moin was awarded  a Pride of Birmingham Award and in that speech he said

“A lot of people take life for granted. While I am here I want to get the message out to people to enjoy life. Please, please get the most out of your life and make the most of what you have”. 

To read about these and the other awards go to

Congratulations from all at Banana Crumble. You are all heroes and a true inspiration.