Friends take fund-raising total past £30k with final memorial football match for Ben Newton

12:04 07 February 2013

Friends and former team-mates of Ben Newton line up before the 10th memorial game.

Friends and former team-mates of Ben Newton line up before the 10th memorial game.

Archant

FRIENDS of a teenager who suffered an “adult cot death” have sealed a decade of fund-raising in his memory with one final footballing tribute.

Ben Newton, 16, died on the way from his Chatteris home to the hospital in 2003. He had woken up struggling to breathe and doctors had no explanation for the sudden attack.

Every year since his death, Ben’s friends and family have staged a memorial football match on the weekend closest to his birthday, February 7.

This year’s game, which was followed by a raffle and charity auction, was held on Sunday at The Sportsman, in Chatteris. It raised £5,000 - more than all the previous events - taking the total raised over the last 10 years past £33,000.

The money, some of which has been raised by friends taking on walks, skydives and the London Marathon, has been donated to Cardiac Risk in the Young. The charity aims to raise awareness and fund research into the conditions that lead to sudden death in youths.

This year’s football fixture, the final annual match, saw a side made up of Ben’s former team-mates beat a select XI 3-1.

Ashley Taylor, Liam Birch and an Andrew Bright own goal secured the win, while Ben’s brother Nick was named man of the match after scoring the consolation.

Gary Heading, a former school friend of Ben who helped organise the day, said: “It was a great success with lots of supporters turning out.

“We would like to thank everyone for all the support people have given us over the past 10 years. It has been amazing.”

The fund-raising has helped to organise an ECG heart screening clinic in Chatteris, which will be held in October this year for those aged 14-35.

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