A CHARITY football game in aid of a Newbury woman battling brain cancer was played in her memory after she died before the match took place.
Laura Freemantle died on Sunday, June 4, at the age of 34.
However, her husband Jamie, who organised the fundraiser, was adamant that the game still went ahead last Saturday.
More than 650 supporters turned out at Newbury FC’s Faraday Road ground for the charity match and family fun day which included activities, games, stalls and a raffle.
Mr Freemantle, an amateur footballer with Greenham Park FC, had arranged the fundraiser along with teammate Jon Quenault to raise funds for Cancer Research UK and The Brain Tumour Charity.
Speaking to the Newbury Weekly News, Mr Freemantle said: “It was amazing to see all these people turn up.
“In the end it was a game in memory of Laura.
“We had T-shirts made that said ‘In loving memory of Laura’ which everyone wore.
“And with Gift Aid we’ve raised £4,641, which is just brilliant.”
The match, billed as Greenham Park FC vs Cancer, saw the squad, who play in the Newbury Sunday League, split into two teams and face off against each other.
Mr Freemantle and co-organiser Mr Quenault have both had loved ones affected by cancer with Mr Quenault’s mother, Jacqueline, receiving the all-clear last year.
Around 250 spectators stayed on to watch the Greenham Park FC squad battle it out in what was a hotly-contested friendly in sauna-like conditions.
“It was a really good game, apart from the heat – with about 20 minutes to go we were all flagging,” said Mr Freemantle.
“The team have been massively supportive, they’re always asking if I need anything, or if there’s anything they can do, but they didn’t stand back during the game – there were some tackles flying in.”
The game finished 2-2, before Mr Freemantle’s team clinched victory on penalties.
He added: “I’d really just like to say thank you to everyone for all their support and help, and everyone who turned up on the day.”
Anyone who would like to donate can still do so at www.justgiving.com/teams/greenhamparkfcvscancer