Poignant Carlton Colville football match to remember lost-loved ones

IT is usually a chance for Adam Parnell and his family to pay tribute to his late son Marc.

But an annual fund-raising football match at Carlton Colville on Sunday was even more poignant this year as two of the people closest to him were not there to share the occasion.

The match – which raised about �1,300 for Diabetes UK – was organised in memory of 19-year-old Marc who died from an infection two days before Christmas in 2008.

However, Mr Parnell's wife, Anna-Marie, and his father-in-law, Bernard Humble, who both passed away in the last 12 months, were also honoured at the game at the Carlton Colville Community Centre which saw a Parnell-Select XI taking on the football team from the Old Red House pub.

Mr Parnell, 49, praised the efforts of everyone who took part in the match.

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He said: 'For the last three years we have been doing it in memory of my son. But this year has been particularly poignant and heartfelt because my wife and father-in-law are usually standing on the sidelines.

'Some of these charities do not get enough recognition, so this is just one easy way of raising money. Friends have raised cash by having their heads shaved, or getting their long hair cut. It is not just about my sons who organised it, but those at the Old Red House who gave up their time and hospitality.'

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This year's Marc Parnell Memorial Match was organised by Mr Parnell's brother-in-law Ivan Humble, 42, of Gunton, and his sons Ben, 21, of Carlton Colville and Jude, 19, of Lowestoft.

The decision to raise money for Diabetes UK was made after 39-year-old Anna-Marie, who suffered with diabetes after having her pancreas removed, died at the James Paget University Hospital in September following complications resulting from hypoglycemic brain damage.

Her father Bernard Humble, a 68-year-old retired lorry driver from Lowestoft, died of cancer in March.

Describing his wife, Mr Parnell said: 'Anna was a happy-go-lucky person without a care in the world when we married in 1990. She was always very caring, even when she was ill herself.

'She always put the children first over me and she was a very caring, loving mother and grandmother.'

The match was first held in 2009 to remember the Parnells' sports-mad son who died suddenly from blood poisoning when an abscess on his lungs burst on December 23 2008.

Marc, the oldest of five children, was captain of the Lowestoft College team, where he was studying to be a mechanic and he spent many weekends with the Oulton Mariners under-13s team where he would run the line or referee.

Just weeks after his death it emerged that his partner Vanessa was pregnant with a baby girl.

Mr Parnell, a security operative who lives in Carlton Colville, said Marc was a big Norwich City fan who had the club emblem engraved on his headstone. He said: 'He was a big Canaries fan and liked helping young people. He suffered from attention deficit disorder (ADHD) and would often referee football matches.'

Sunday's match ended 7-4 in favour of the pub's team. But the charity proved the biggest winner, with money raised via collection buckets, and also from people having sponsored haircuts or head shaves.

Louise Rout, acting fund-raising officer for Diabetes UK's eastern region said: 'We are delighted that the Parnells have chosen to raise money for Diabetes UK, and for that we thank them sincerely.'

? For more information about the charity's work, visit www.diabetes.org.uk.

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