Gangnam Style. Charity wrist bands. The ice bucket challenge. Simple ideas that went viral and ended up – for a while – taking over the world. And, hopefully, joining that list soon will be Blowing Bubbles for Bobby. The idea for the scheme, run in aid of the Bobby Moore Fund, is very simple – film yourself blowing bubbles in an imaginative or unlikely place, make a financial pledge by texting BBFB66 £3 to 70070, call out five friends to do the same, and upload it to your Facebook, Twitter or YouTube account and help spread the news about this fund-raising drive.
Appropriately enough, given what it involves, the scheme is the brainchild of the editor of the Blowing Bubbles Magazine, David Blackmore. David’s connection to the cause is not just the obvious claret and blue one – he has previously volunteered for the Bobby Moore Fund on school building projects in South Africa (2010) and Namibia (2011). ‘The success of the ice bucket challenge was astonishing – there can’t have been a single person in the country last summer who hadn’t heard about it, and it raised a huge amount of money and awareness for motor neurone disease,’ David explained.
‘Because of my club and personal connections to the Bobby Moore Fund, I’ve been looking for a way to do something similar for them, and what more Bobby-friendly way could there be than blowing bubbles in honour of West Ham’s greatest ever player? ‘The club has fans all over the world, and people love to wear their colours in far-flung places so that there’s a corner of a foreign field that is forever claret and blue.
‘Add to that the England angle, and the status in which Bobby is held in other countries – Franz Beckenbauer called him the best defender in the history of the game, and Pele said he was the most difficult defender he ever played against – and I think Blowing Bubbles for Bobby could really take off – no pun intended!’ The Bobby Moore Fund has given Blowing Bubbles for Bobby its blessing, and there are hopes it could be another big viral fundraising success for the organisation, hot on the heels of 14-yearold Jonjo Heuerman’s remarkable bike ride around all 20 Premier League grounds, which has become a word of mouth and social media sensation despite minimal mainstream media coverage.
‘Jonjo’s an example to anyone wanting to raise awareness for a cause – his work is amazing, but mercifully the bubble blowing idea is a bit less strenuous and easier for everyone to do,’ joked David. ‘It’s also a great example of how social media can be used to build momentum. We’re contributing to the same cause as him, so if we can emulate what he’s done, we’ll be really pleased, and we’ll also raise a very decent amount for a deserving cause.’
As well as wanting to pay tribute to the former West Ham great 22 years after his passing, David said his personal involvement with the Fund, and the effect its work had, made him all the more determined to make a difference. ‘I’ve got first-hand experience of the work the Bobby Moore Fund does, and how it can utterly transform people’s lives, and give them an opportunity which they might never get otherwise,’ he explained. ‘Bobby left an unparalleled legacy at West Ham, and also with England. By taking part in Blowing Bubbles for Bobby, this is your chance to leave a lasting legacy too – by changing the lives of other people, and helping bring about an end to the curse of cancer.’