Lowestoft teenager Rory remains an inspiration

HE may have lost his biggest battle, but teenager Rory Davies remains an inspiration.

The 15-year-old Benjamin Britten High School passed away last month, after bravely fighting against brain and spinal cancer for more than a year. Since then, his friends and family have been busy fund-raising in his memory – with hundreds of people in the Lowestoft area pledging thousands of pounds.

In January, Rory's dad, Andy, announced he was going to take part in the Three Peaks Challenge in June in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust. He has had an amazing response, with �9,084.29 pledged within just three months, and this total looks set to rise in the coming weeks.

Last weekend, The Saturday Football Club, run by Waveney FC, paid their own tribute to Rory.

'Rory was a popular and familiar figure at The Saturday Football Club for a number of years as a young player who, as he got older, would help to coach the younger players and would be one of the first to arrive every Saturday morning and set up the equipment,' a spokesman for Waveney said. 'He will be sorely missed.'

Club members were joined by players from Rory's team, Burnt Hill FC, and some of his friends from Benjamin Britten last Saturday, as games and activities were held prior to 250 gold and black balloons being released with a simple musical tribute from some talented pupils from the school.

At that point, the fund-raising total stood at �9,084.29, and a delighted Mr Davies said: 'Thank you to all those who have donated and are still collecting money from the various fundraisers you have organised.

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'Rory has an extra big smile on his face looking at the current total...no wonder the sunshine was so bright!'

Last week, Denes High School held a fundraising gig in Rory's memory. This followed two sell-out gigs at Benjamin Britten which, combined with other events, took the school's total to more than �5,000. And this is still to be added to Mr Davies' final sum.

Last month, former Benjamin Britten student Danielle Doyle, 15, organised a sponsored fancy dress beach walk from the Jolly Sailors pub at Pakefield to the Sparrow's Nest gardens. More than 100 took part, with all proceeds being donated to the Teenage Cancer Trusty.

Praising all his supporters, Mr Davies said: 'I now feel like it's my turn to give something back and to help others like Rory.

'In June I plan to tackle the infamous Three Peaks challenge, with some good friends also doing it with me and we hope to raise a minimum of �5000 towards the new teenage cancer unit at Addenbrooke's Hospital.'

Anyone who wishes to sponsor Mr Davies can do so online at: http://www.teenagecancertrust.org/get-involved/as-a-fundraiser/fundraisers/clays-3-peak-challenge-team/

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