A charity football match held in memory of a man who died suddenly from a heart attack has raised more than £4,600 for the British Heart Foundation.
Around 300 people attended the Paul Bushell Cup which was held at Crawley Town Football Club.
Paul Bushell, who grew up in Ifield, died in February this year aged 32. The event, which is now set to become an annual event, was organised by Dave Marshall who had been Paul’s friend since childhood.
The pair attended Ifield Community College together and later went on to work for the same company, Automotive.
The cup saw a team made up of work colleagues from Automotive play another Crawley firm, Harwoods. Automotive came out on top winning 2-1.
Dave Marshall, 30, who lives in Smallfield, said: “It was a very emotional day. Paul’s parents were there and lots of his friends and family.
“I wanted to make this a really special event. So alongside the match we organised lots of activities for the family. 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 which was 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.”
British Heart Foundation fundraising manager for the South East Dawn Smith said: “Dave put an extraordinary amount of effort into organising this event so it’s 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 around 155,000 UK deaths each year – around one every three minutes.
The British Heart Foundation 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 for people living with heart and circulatory conditions.
For more information go to bhf.org.uk/research