Denaby memorial match to a man of many talents

John Hurley.

John Hurley.

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Community leader John Hurley was a man of many talents.

He was honoured by the Pope for serving the church for 80 years, tended to patients’ needs in a hospital for three decades, was a semi-professional footballer and a champion tennis player.

John Hurley, eft.

John Hurley, eft.

He also had his finger on the pulse of community life as a district correspondent for the South Yorkshire Times and went on to have 20 grandchildren.

Following his death last year and in honour of his extraordinary life, family and friends have now organised a charity football match in his memory in the hope of raising hundreds of pounds for good causes.

The match for the John Hurley Memorial Trophy will take place between Denaby Main and Denaby Main JFC at Denaby United’s Football Ground in Tickhill Square on Wednesday, August 31, at 6pm.

Proceeds made will be donated to Dementia UK as John died aged 89 after a five-year battle with the condition at his Conisbrough home in December last year.

John’s daughter Margaret, aged 44, of Conisbrough, said: “My dad was a wonderful father, grandfather and husband who was much-loved in the community.

“Everyone who knew him always said he had a smile on his face.

“We have seen first-hand how dementia can affect someone, their family and friends so we want to do all we can to raise money for the charity to help other people who are facing the condition.”

They are hoping to raise at least £250 and they are already more than halfway towards reaching their total.

Spectators are welcome to attend on the day and are asked to make a £1 entry donation.

After the match, everyone in attendance is welcome to a celebration evening, buffet and raffle prize draw afterwards at the Denaby Miners’ Welfare Club.

Margaret, a mum-of-two who works as an office manager at Conisbrough’s Pennine View School, said it could become an annual event.

She added: “We have had a great response to fundraising so far and a lot of businesses have donated prizes for the raffle. It should be a fantastic day out and we are urging as many people as possible to come along.”

John’s son Andrew thanked people who have donated and businesses for giving prizes, adding: “Your support is really appreciated.”

Denaby-born John was recognised as the country’s longest-serving altar boy.

He won a medal from former Pope Saint John Paul II for serving for around 80 years at St Albans Church in Denaby. He juggled his job as a porter at Fullerton Hospital in Denaby with the role of correspondent for the SYT for about 30 years throughout the 1970s, 80s and 90s. He also played football at semi-professional level for teams including Denaby United, Denaby Rovers and Bangor City. A keen tennis player, John represented Mexborough Athletic Tennis Club and won the South Yorkshire regional title in the 1960s. He had six children and 20 grandchildren.

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Andrew-Hurley2