Schoolboy Pacey Bean was so touched by the plight of the victims of the Manchester terror attack that he decided to do something about it.
Eleven-year-old Pacey came up with the idea of organising a charity football match at his school - and it proved a great success when it took place at St Mark’s in Staplefield on Friday.
Pacey - described as ‘football mad’ by his mum Ally - was deeply saddened when 23 young people and adults lost their lives at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester in May when a suicide bomber detonated an improvised explosive device.
Pacey plucked up the courage to ask headteacher Penny Kennedy if he could go ahead and organise the soccer fundraiser and was delighted when she gave the go-ahead.
The match - between boys from years 5 and 6 - involved the two teams playing four quarters of 10 minutes.
Said Pacey: “The end result was 6-5, it was a very close match.
“The match began with all of us walking on the pitch to the Black Eyed Peas’ tune ‘Where Is The Love’ which I wanted because it was played at the concert and I liked the lyrics. Then the national anthem was played and it began.
“Lots of the girls bought pom poms that we sold along with sweets and cakes and were cheering from the sidelines.
“There was about 75 people there watching which was a great turnout for a small school of only 86 pupils.
“At the end Mrs Kennedy the head teacher asked me to pick out the winning raffle ticket which was a football which went to one of the younger boys watching.
“Ms Roden, head of PE at St Mark’s, thanked everyone for coming at the end and presented us all the with medals.”
The match - which has so far raised £233 - turned out to be a real family affair for Pacey with dad Paul as referee.
Mum Ally said: “Pacey was overwhelmed by the support that he received and didn’t expect to raise so much money.”
Pacey plays for Cuckfield Cosmos and also for Crystal Palace development centre in East Grinstead, and Chelsea development at Hazelwick School in Crawley.
Following the terror attack at Manchester Arena, Ariana Grande returned for a benefit concert last month.