Stoke darts player gets Pride of Britain nomination after raising almost £70,000 through tournaments

ITV Central's Rosie Dowsing speaks to fundraiser Tom Wilson at one of his weekly darts tournaments.

A keen darts player from Staffordshire who started fundraising through weekly tournaments at pubs six years ago, has been nominated for a Pride of Britain award. 

Tom ‘Snoopy’ Wilson, who has autism, says the weekly meet ups with locals who share his love of darts, has been great for his mental health. 

The 32-year-old from Meir Hay, Stoke-on-Trent, started fundraising in 2017 when his friend was diagnosed with prostate cancer and challenged him to raise £10,000. 

Six years later, Tom is nearing his new target of £70,000 for Prostate Cancer UK.

Tom said: “Since 2017, I’ve wanted to do something extremely positive and turn my life around while doing something to help others.

“I was suffering from depression and anxiety. This has given me a great thing to do, because people come and support me. 

“I’m raising money for charity, and I’m getting a lot of positive comments from doing it.”

Across the UK, around 144 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every day. 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with it in their lifetime. 

It’s a cause close to Tom’s heart after his friend’s diagnosis.

He added: “I’ve always liked darts. I had a friend who had prostate cancer, my uncle had the early signs of prostate cancer. So I wanted to do it for them.

“It’s making me feel more positive, and better about myself.”

Tom says his mental health has improved since he started fundraising, because he is getting out and doing something positive every week. Credit: ITV Central

It’s not just the weekly darts tournaments at pubs across Staffordshire and Cheshire, Tom also does raffles, and auctions off sports memorabilia which people donate to him. 

Those who support Tom at his darts tournaments say he is an inspiration.

Working at the Dog & Rot in Leek, one of the venues for Tom's tournaments, Kate Carter said: "It's his sheer dogged determination, the lad never gives up, doesn't stop.

"The amount of money he has raised is absolutely unbelievable, we love him to bits."

Tom is one of the biggest fundraisers nationwide for Prostate Cancer UK, and his next target is £100,000.

The Pride of Britain accolade that Tom has been nominated for is the Fundraiser of the Year award, which recognises individuals who go above and beyond to fundraise in their communities.