Football match tribute to inspirational Lowestoft teenager
HUNDREDS of people gathered for a charity football match in memory of an inspirational teenager.
Former school friends of 15-year-old Rory Davies were among those who turned out to release balloons and take part in a minute's applause in honour of the Lowestoft youngster who died 12 months ago .
After bravely fighting brain and spinal cancer, the former Benjamin Britten High School student lost his battle against illness last March. But since his death, hundreds of people in the Lowestoft area have rallied round to help raise money in his memory – and more than �28,500 has so far been raised for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Last Thursday, the Rory Davies memorial charity football match took place at Walmer Road – the home of Kirkley and Pakefield FC – between pupils in year 11 and year 10 at Benjamin Britten High.
With all donations on the night going to the Teenage Cancer Trust, �1,300 was raised.
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The match organiser, Bryan David, a teacher at Benjamin Britten High, said: 'The school wishes to thank Kirkley and Pakefield FC and all the people who turned up and gave so generously, especially Gary High (the father of Taylor High) for his generosity (in contributing from the Taylor High Memorial fund). It was an excellent night.'
On the pitch, the year 10 youngsters beat their senior year opponents 2-1.
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'The result was irrelevant, but yes, it was a bit of a turn-up!' Mr David added. 'All of Rory's tutor group were present to release balloons prior to kick-off, and a minute's applause was held in remembrance.'
The students and staff also thanked Screens Printing for donating training t-shirts, which all featured Rory's name on the back and the teams thanked Mr David for organising the game.
Rory's dad Andy Davies, who was a keen spectator, said the �1,300 raised was 'a fantastic amount'.
Last year, along with a group of friends, Mr Davies had set out to raise at least �5,000 towards a new teenage cancer unit at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge by tackling the Three Peaks Challenge. But after setting up a fund-raising web-page, the Davies family were overwhelmed as people helped them reach, then overhaul, their target.
Mr Davies said: 'The page has been left open as I intend to keep fund-raising.'
With �27,276.75 donated before the match and the �1,300 to add, the running total has now topped �28,500.
'This is an amazing amount and I hope to add to it later this year as I intend to do a Coast to Coast challenge,' Mr Davies said. 'There are still things going on, and Rory's Facebook page still has regular contributions on it. We are just over a year on from what has been a difficult time, as you can imagine, but we've had a fantastic amount of support especially from Rory's friend Tyler and his parents Andy and Shelley who will be lifelong friends.'
Mr Davies hopes to embark on the Coast to Coast challenge, either as a walk or cycle ride, in September.
?To make a donations online, visit www.teenagecancertrust.org and search for '3 peaks'.