Fund-raiser proves a fitting tribute

The charity auction takes place at the Chapman Cup, with Worthing mayor Bob Smytherman a guest
The charity auction takes place at the Chapman Cup, with Worthing mayor Bob Smytherman a guest

FRIENDS of a man who died in May have raised more than £11,000 after a football tournament and auction in his memory.

Ryan Chapman, 29, died when he was hit by a lorry on the A27, and to raise money for charity and his two children’s trust fund, four of his friends organised the event at Ferring Football Club.

Around 36 teams turned out for the event, with an estimated 1,000 people attending on the day.

Alex Bryant, one of the organisers, said the day had surpassed everyone’s expectations, and one moment in the charity auction was particularly emotional.

He said: “The highlight for me was the Goring Rangers football team, Ryan’s old club, who together bid £1,400 for Ryan’s sunglasses, then handed them straight back to his wife, Katy.

“I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house.”

The total raised, £11,735, was split between the trust fund and mental health charity Mind.

Another of the organisers, Dave Howell, said: “The vision we had was totally surpassed. It was an absolutely fantastic day. Ryan would have loved it.”

Mr Bryant added the day was a collective effort, which made it possible.

He said: “It was a real group effort to take this tournament from a idea into reality. The four of us – me, Simon Corona, Chris Westwater and Dave Howell – really made it all happen and we couldn’t have done it without each other.”