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History of the group.

Although the group was formally founded in August 1989, the first seeds were (ironically) “sown” on the artificial turf of Luton Town F.C.’s ground some 2½ years previously.

It is not unusual that an untimely death due to cancer inspires some sort of fundraising effort and when Maureen Ennis passed away after a relatively short but no less distressing fight against breast cancer in October 1986, at the incomprehensively young age of 49, a football match in her memory was duly organised for 4th January 1987.

The memories of the match are now somewhat faded but I recall that it was a bitterly cold day and the records will show the Taylor’s Dummies defeated the Balding Eagles 3-1 in a keenly contested game.

The day before, Luton had beaten Chelsea 1-0 in a top division match on the same surface. It was after all a very long time ago!

Over the next couple of years, two further matches between the Dummies and the Eagles took place (albeit with some amendments to personnel) with one victory apiece.  Before the third match of the series, treasure hunts and quiz evenings had also been held in the City and soon after that we decided to make it all more official.


So the South Bedfordshire Friends of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) was formed at a meeting in the Castle Public House, London E1.  We have in fact outlasted the pub which sadly closed a few years ago.  There have been two name changes to our group since then.  The first was a change to City of London as our geographical identifier, thereby more accurately reflecting our fundraising base and the second in 2002 when Cancer Research Campaign merged with ICRF to form Cancer Research UK.

All of our Committee & Event Committee members are unpaid volunteers. 



  • Founded August 1989 as South Beds Friends of ICRF

  • First Insurance Industry Golf Day held in Summer 1989.

  • Name changed to City of London Friends of ICRF in 1994

  • Passed £50,000 raised during early 1997.

  • Passed £100,000 raised in early 2000.

  • Named changed to City of London Friends of CRUK upon merger of CRC and ICRF (2002)

  • Passed £250,000 raised Summer 2004.

  • First abseil at Canary Wharf in May 2007.

  • Passed £500,000 raised in May 2008 at the second Canary Wharf Abseil.

  • September 2009 the group declared its largest (to date) annual profit of more than £163,000.

  • Awarded CR-UK’s “Flame of Hope” award in the Community Fundraising category June 2010.

  • Held the first Tower Run (Faas Climb) at Heron Tower, the City’s then tallest building October 2011.

  • Added to the CR-UK Roll of Honour board at the London Research Institute January 2012.

  • Passed £1,000,000 raised at the Battersea Power Station abseil in August 2013.

  • Celebrated 30 years of fundraising in August 2019.

  • Now approaching £1.5million raised at our events.



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