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Footballers across Lowestoft unite to support men's cancer charity

PUBLISHED: 17:00 19 October 2015

Barrie Atkins, Kris Hemsley (MD at Everything Office) and Mike Willgoss with the signed shirt. Picture: Mick Howes

Barrie Atkins, Kris Hemsley (MD at Everything Office) and Mike Willgoss with the signed shirt. Picture: Mick Howes

Archant

The game of football unites players and supporters as they join together to endure highs and lows both on and off the pitch throughout any given season.

The Kirkley & Pakefield Walking Football Team present a cheque to Mike Willgoss (third from right). Picture: SuppliedThe Kirkley & Pakefield Walking Football Team present a cheque to Mike Willgoss (third from right). Picture: Supplied

And highlighting the wealth of talent on offer at grass roots level, along with raising some vital funds for a men’s cancer charity, a number of teams, companies and fans in the Lowestoft area took part in the annual Non League Day to show their support for semi-professional football.

Supported by Prostate Cancer UK ambassador Mike Willgoss – who lives in Lowestoft and has now raised more than £58,000 for the charity – the largest donation came from funds raised after the sale of a signed Norwich City shirt.

Office supplies specialists, Everything Office, sponsored a recent Norwich City match and were given the shirt as part of the deal.

Their managing director offered the shirt to be auctioned for charity and asked employee Barrie Atkins for suggestions. As Mr Atkins had recently recovered from Prostate Cancer himself, he suggested that the charity should benefit.

Custom Kitchens then came forward and offered £250 for the shirt, which was donated to the charity.

The Kirkley and Pakefield walking football team have also contributed to the worthy cause, donating £50 accumulated from players paying a small amount to play each week.

Organiser of the team, Brian Sturman, said: “We pay our expenses for the pitch and the rest of it we put into a kitty and when it accumulated we decided to give it to Prostate Cancer UK.

“We have had a good response from people saying what we are doing is brilliant and we want to do it to help people.”

Mr Willgoss said he was “extremely grateful” for the donations which he also described as a “nice pleasant surprise”.

He added: “We didn’t get a lot of response from football clubs but anyone who thinks of donating to Prostate Cancer UK is brilliant and we really appreciate it.

“We have got to try these things to include the local sides and this is the first year we have done it.”

A £10 donation was also pledged by local team Earsham FC.

■ Visit www.justgiving.com/nonleagueday or www.justgiving.com/mike-willgoss to pledge your support.

■ Are you raising money for charity in Lowestoft? Email joe.randlesome@archant.co.uk

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