A former rugby player who pledged to remain sober for a year has surpassed his four-figure target for charity.
Jamie Williamson, from South Wootton, chose to swap beer for water to raise money for It’s on the Ball – a charity which supports men with testicular cancer.
Mr Williamson, the ex-captain of West Norfolk Rugby Club, has already raised more than £1,000 and is just 11 weeks away from completing his quest.
He gave up his beloved pint to begin a year-long sabattical on April 1.
A relieved Mr Williamson, 35, said: “I feel like the hard part is over and now I’m on the final stretch. Getting through Christmas was a big hurdle but now I’ve achieved that I feel the worst part is over.”
It wasn’t just the festive season which presented Mr Williamson with a big test.
He had to remain dry at his brother-in-law’s stag party and wedding in the summer, and also at the rugby club’s end-of-season dinner in 2016.
“I was the only sober person in the room at the end-of-season dinner while I found myself stone-cold sober at a strip club in Milton Keynes for the stag party,” he admitted.
But staying off the beer has also brought its benefits, both physically and mentally.
“I’ve lost about a stone but it has also helped my mental state too,” said Mr Williamson.
“After having a heavy session with the team on a Saturday, I used to feel quite low at the start of the week but now I feel a lot more stable not having had a drink.”
After beginning his charity venture last year, Mr Williamson said: “Because of daily life, I haven’t got time to climb a mountain or swim the channel, so I decided a bit of personal sacrifice was something I could do.
“Testicular cancer is most prominent in young males between the ages of 29 to 49 and I’m in that range myself.”
To donate to Mr Williamson’s fundraising venture, visit: www.justgiving.com/soberskipper or text IOTB99 £ and amount to 70070.