HUNDREDS of people attended a fundraising event and thousands of raffle tickets were sold to help send a grieving Sompting family on the trip of a lifetime.
On Saturday, Croshaw Recreation Ground in Lancing was filled with young football players, parents and other local residents to support the Baldwin family, who lost their eight-year-old son to leukaemia last month.
Organised by the community, a five-a-side tournament including players from Lancing Rangers and Lancing United, among others, took to the field to win The Harvey Baldwin Cup, named after the avid footballer whose funeral took place on October 20.
A whopping £2,850 was raised on the day and is hoped will pay for the Baldwins to spend Christmas with their family in Australia.
Lancing Rangers FC manager Duncan Green said there has been ‘superb support’ from the community.
“It’s been brilliant. People have been really generous without a shadow of a doubt,” he said. “We have had 20 teams playing on four pitches. We have had lots of support from local businesses giving us beauty therapies and a ski-ing holiday. I would like to say a huge thank-you to all involved and that dug so deep.”
Harvey’s mother, Claire Baldwin, said: “I’d like to personally thank everyone who turned up and supported the event. I was amazed by the reaction and support for me and my family.”
Duncan’s wife, Hannah, said they were ‘blown away’ by the amount of support.
“You hear stories about lack of community and then you see this,” she said.
Lancing United manager Joe Pannell said: “When we built this facility, we wanted it to be used by the community and this is a great cause and could be the first of many.”
The trophy, engraved with ‘The Harvey Baldwin Cup’, was donated by Timpsons at Lyons Farm.
Harvey’s former team, Lancing Rangers Select, won the tournament, beating Rustington Otters 3-1 in the final.
A further £500 was raised at a silent auction held at the New Sussex Hotel in Lancing.