Poignant football match in memory of player’s dad

Charity fundraiser in honour of Ged Blythe SUS-160915-152644001
Charity fundraiser in honour of Ged Blythe SUS-160915-152644001

A poignant football match held in memory of a player’s dad who died in a road crash last year has helped raise funds for the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance.

AFC Haywards hosted the match against Heath Pilgrims in Victoria Park, Haywards Heath, on Sunday and raised more than £1,800 for the air ambulance charity.

AFC Haywards SUS-160915-152629001

AFC Haywards SUS-160915-152629001

The match was played in honour of Ged Blythe, 48, from Burgess Hill - the father of AFC player Shamen Blythe - who was tragically killed in a motrobike crash in March 2015.

Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance attended the scene and tried in vain to save Ged.

The match in his memory proved ‘very successful’, according to Terry Wallis, who helped organise it.

“Even though we lost the match 4-2 everyone came off smiling, which is the main thing,” he said.

Heath Pilgrims SUS-160915-152545001

Heath Pilgrims SUS-160915-152545001

A raffle and barbecue were held after the match at The Heath Tavern in Sussex Road.

“The barbecue and raffle went well,” said Terry. “We sold out of all our food and sold over 800 tickets for the raffle.

“So after tallying up our total we managed to raise a fantastic £1,819.57.”

Among those playing in the match was one of Ged’s close friends, Nick White.

AFC Haywards v Heath Pilgrims charity fundraiser SUS-160915-152617001

AFC Haywards v Heath Pilgrims charity fundraiser SUS-160915-152617001

Ged frequently used to watch Heath Pilgrims when his son Shamen was playing.

AFC Haywards hold a charity event every year to raise funds for a cause close to their hearts.

Two years ago they held a charity day in aid of a player who suffers from cystic fibrosis.

And last year they raised money for Cancer Research UK in memory of their club secretary’s mum Ann Jacqueline Bettine who lost her life to cancer.

Part of the action during the AFC Haywards charity fundraising match against Heath Pilgrims SUS-160915-152600001

Part of the action during the AFC Haywards charity fundraising match against Heath Pilgrims SUS-160915-152600001