Friends to seal decade of fund-raising with final memorial football match for Ben Newton

08:00 29 January 2013

School friends of Ben Newton are set to hold the 10th memorial football match in his honour.

School friends of Ben Newton are set to hold the 10th memorial football match in his honour.

Archant

TEN years ago, Ben Newton woke up struggling to breathe. Doctors said the 16-year-old had suffered an “adult cot death”.

He died on the way from his Chatteris home to the hospital and there was no explanation for the sudden attack.

This weekend a decade of fund-raising, which has seen almost £30,000 raised in Ben’s honour, will come to an end with one final event.

Since Ben’s death, friends and family have got together every year to hold a memorial football match on the weekend closest to his birthday, February 7.

This year’s game, followed by a raffle and charity auction, takes place on Sunday at The Sportsman, in Chatteris.

Gary Heading, a close school friend of Ben, said: “This will be the 10th year and probably the last. We want to make this as big as we can.

“Some of our group of friends are in the army now and people are doing all sorts of different things, but they always try to make it back to Chatteris for this game.

“This will be the last annual event but I’m sure we will still all meet up in the future for different things. We will never forget him.”

The memorial football matches, which see a collection of Ben’s former team-mates take on a select XI led by his brother, Nick, have raised more than £17,000 for Cardiac Risk in the Young. It aims to raise awareness and fund research into the conditions that lead to sudden death in youths.

A further £11,000 has been raised by several of Ben’s friends, who have taken on charity challenges including walks, skydives and the London Marathon.

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

● Sunday’s football match will kick-off at 1.30pm at The Sportsman.

A raffle and auction will follow the game, with lots including ‘four ball’ rounds at various golf courses, a signed Arsenal shirt, a television and a family ticket to an England football match.

The fund-raising will begin on Saturday evening with karaoke at The Sportsman.

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