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Santa turns goalie as Rudolph Run arrives at Portman Road

PUBLISHED: 16:03 22 December 2018 | UPDATED: 16:03 22 December 2018

Santa with some young Ipswich Town fans as the Round Table's Rudolph Run visits Portman Road. Picture: JUDY RIMMER

Santa with some young Ipswich Town fans as the Round Table's Rudolph Run visits Portman Road. Picture: JUDY RIMMER

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Santa met Ipswich Town mascot Bluey as the Rudolph Run arrived at Portman Road ahead of the Town match against Sheffield United.

Santa meets Bluey before the Ipswich Town match against Sheffield United. Picture: JUDY RIMMERSanta meets Bluey before the Ipswich Town match against Sheffield United. Picture: JUDY RIMMER

The visit brought this year’s Rudolph Run, organised by Ipswich Round Table, to an end. Children were able to meet Santa, and some football-mad youngsters also tested their skills against him when he took a turn in goal.

Earlier in the day, the Rudolph Run visited the La Tour Cafe on the Waterfront. This year’s Rudolph Run is raising money for Dementia Care at Ipswich Hospital.

For more than 40 years, Santa and Rudolph have been travelling through the streets of Ipswich each December. This year they started their tour on December 3 with a trip around the Australia Estate and a visit to Ipswich Hospital, and have since travelled around the town.

However, this year’s tour almost ended early - when disaster struck as Santa was meeting families who had arrived at the Golf Hotel.

Santa took a turn in goal during the Rudolph Run's visit to Portman Road. Picture: JUDY RIMMERSanta took a turn in goal during the Rudolph Run's visit to Portman Road. Picture: JUDY RIMMER

The cord snapped on the generator, meaning there was no music, lights or microphone.

Fortunately, some kindhearted supporters came to the rescue. The generator was taken off the sleigh and tabler Don Anderson of DBA Building got to work trying to fix the equipment.

In the meantime, Santa set off with no microphone and only the sound system from the Ford Ranger, loaned by John Grose, to play music through.

The Round Table frantically put out an SOS call through Facebook for help, and Ben and Gemma Shepherd from Big Fun UK got in contact.

They dropped everything to bring the Rudolph team a replacement generator, and they managed to get the new generator in place and have everything back working to finish the route around Broke Hall. Ben and Gemma have since let the Round Table team keep the generator as a backup, now that theirs is fixed.

The Round Table wants to thank all the supporters of this year’s Rudolph Run, including John Grose Ford, Azpects Ltd, Coes, Arthur Gallagher, John Lewis, Ocala Healthcare, Ipswich Building Society, Fenn Wright, Hudsons Signs, Seven, Barclays, Marks & Mann, Thompson & Morgan, MSC, Bovis Homes, Town 102, Ensors, Genesis PR, Scrutton Bland, Derivco, Suffolk Life, LV and Sackers.

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