'Speechless' father hails TV presenter Jake Humphrey after tweet creates 'minor miracle'
PUBLISHED: 07:10 10 April 2019 | UPDATED: 09:21 10 April 2019
A father fundraising for charity in memory of his daughter said the response to a Norfolk TV presenter Jake Humphrey sharing his story on social media had been a "minor miracle".
BT Sport host Mr Humphrey went on Twitter on Sunday to promote Ross Coniam’s £Nine4Norah charitable campaign.
He sent out a series of tweets after spotting the appeal on the back of Mr Coniam’s jumper while he watched the FA Cup semi-final between Watford and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Wembley.
Watford fan Mr Coniam, who set up a GoFundMe page in December, aims to take on nine physical challenges in 2019 for charity and in memory of his daughter Norah who died just hours after being born in May last year.
Before Mr Humphrey’s tweet the appeal had raised £3,058 of a £6,000 goal, but by Wednesday morning nearly 2,200 people had together donated more than £31,000.
“It’s something magical that happened on Sunday,” said 36-year-old Mr Coniam. “I think if I was three rows in front or six to the other side I might not have been seen. It’s a minor miracle.”
He added: “It seems surreal how I happened to be in that seat and he was behind me. For him to actually read it and take an interest is unbelievable.”
Mr Coniam, from Watford, admitted to being left “speechless” by the money flowing in from “the kindness of random strangers”.
“It just seems to tick over all the time, I half expect it to stop at any point and wake up and see it’s not real,” he said.
On Twitter he thanked Mr Humphrey for his “act of kindness”, with the TV presenter saying “it wasn’t the hoodie, it wasn’t Wembley. It was Norah”.
Mr Humphrey, who is an ambassador for this year’s Norfolk Day on Saturday, July 27, had earlier tweeted to say he was left “shedding a little tear” after researching Mr Coniam’s story during the football match.
“Seeing this support does make me feel proud,” said Mr Coniam, who works as an operations manager for his family’s specialist coating products business.
He added: “We always said with Norah during pregnancy, this girl will change lives, and now after what’s happened she’s changing thousands of people’s lives.”
People can donate to the appeal by visiting uk.gofundme.com/nine4norah.