Footy match in memory of Paul raises thousands

A minute silence took place at the match to remember Paul Bushell who died from a heart attack. Picture: Steve Robards
A minute silence took place at the match to remember Paul Bushell who died from a heart attack. Picture: Steve Robards

A charity football match and family fun day held in memory of a man who died from a heart attack aged only 32 has raised almost £5,000 for the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

About 300 people attended the Paul Bushell Cup at Crawley Town Football Club on Saturday (May 13).

Paul's parents Elaine and Kevin and his sister Kay at the match. Picture: Steve Robards

Paul's parents Elaine and Kevin and his sister Kay at the match. Picture: Steve Robards

Paul Bushell, who grew up in Ifield, died from a heart attack in February last year, which was brought on by high cholesterol. He was just 32.

His death came as a shock to his family and fianceé, Amalia Koflach, who he was due to marry this month.

This was the second year of the event organised by Dave Marshall who had been Paul’s best friend since childhood.

The day raised £4,773.63 and adding to last year’s pot this makes almost £10,000.

Dave with his wife Cherish alongside the mayor of Crawley,  councillor Raj Sharma and Lewis Honeywill of the BHF. Picture: Steve Robards

Dave with his wife Cherish alongside the mayor of Crawley, councillor Raj Sharma and Lewis Honeywill of the BHF. Picture: Steve Robards

The pair attended Ifield Community College and later went on to work for the same company, Automotive Repair Systems.

The cup saw a team made up of work colleagues from Automotive Repair Systems play local firm Caffyns with Automotive winning 3 - 2.

Dave, 31, who lives in Smallfield, said: “It was a very emotional day. Paul’s parents were there and lots of his friends and family. It went really well and it was a nice vibe and we beat our fundraising target.

“I wanted to make this a really special event. So alongside the match we organised lots of activities for the family.

Paul's mum Elaine and his sister Kay. Picture: Steve Robards

Paul's mum Elaine and his sister Kay. Picture: Steve Robards

“We had a bouncy castle and beat the keeper competition alongside lots of stalls who all made donations to the fundraising. A lot of local companies donated prizes for a raffle and auction which were really popular.

“It ended up being an amazing day. I’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of everyone who took part and came along.

“They’ve helped make this a great tribute to Paul and raised lots of money for a really important cause. It’s been such a success that I’m now going to make this an annual event.

“We have got got to go bigger and better next year.”

Lewis Honeywill, BHF fundraising manager, said: “Dave and Cherish put an extraordinary amount of effort into organising this event it was brilliant to see so many people support it.

“Every pound raised by this event will be used to help fund new ways to help treat, prevent and cure heart conditions.”

Heart and circulatory disease is responsible for more than quarter of all deaths around 160,000 in the UK each year – around one every three minutes.

The BHF is one of the leading funders of heart research in the UK. It is currently aiming to fund half a billion pounds of new research over the next five years to discover vital treatments.

Pick up today’s Crawley Observer (May 17) to see a full picture spread of the match.

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