A football marathon in memory of Andrew Sneddon, a Barnburgh man who tragically died at the age of 31 in a railway incident in February, was a huge success.
The fundraising football tournament at Goals in Doncaster raised just over £10,000 for the Doncaster branch of Samaritans.
Around 400 local people attended with 60 footballers playing non-stop for ten hours in an eight-team tournament, played on three pitches and organised by Andrew’s good friend, Dmitry Fedotov.
A fourth pitch was used to hold a community fun-day to support the players and the event. This involved a bouncy castle, a baby play area, a cake stall, a raffle and a tombola. There was a carnival atmosphere all day and emotional tributes were paid to Andrew in the evening in the bar area, where 100 of his friends gathered.
Dmitry said: ““The overwhelming amount of positive comments and tributes paid to Andrew, all unequivocal and unanimous, was that he was a true gentleman and one of the nicest guys we’ve ever known.”
Businesses supporting the event included Isagenix UK, Cream Castles, Helm and Goals – providing facilities and much more for the day. Andrew’s godmother, Dorothy Key, said; “As Andrew’s Godparents we wanted to help Dmitry raise as much money for the Samaritans as possible; people were so generous and committed into making the event the success that it was.”
Andrew’s sister, Kate Jones, said: “The people involved in Sunday’s event were absolute heroes. I cannot thank each and every one of them enough from the bottom of my heart,” with Dmitry adding: “As Andrew’s friends, we were deeply honoured to give him such an elaborate send-off.”