Worthing charity football event in Ryan's memory is a 'great success'

An annual football tournament in memory of a Worthing father was attended by more people than ever this year.

The sixth Ryan Chapman Cup event, held at Worthing rugby club on Saturday, featured several six-a-side football tournaments as well as a host of fun family activities in aid of mental health charity Coastal West Sussex Mind.

Players at the Ryan Chapman cup event on Saturday

Players at the Ryan Chapman cup event on Saturday

The event is in memory of Ryan, who took his own life in 2013, aged 29, after suffering with mental illness.

His mother, Sue Chapman, said: “It has always been a great opportunity for all Ryan’s friends and family to get together and remember him.

"Each year the tournament has grown in numbers and popularity and has become a major event.

"This year it was the most attended it has ever been.

Carrie Howell, Sue Chapman and Alan Chapman

Carrie Howell, Sue Chapman and Alan Chapman

"It was a great success.”

A big screen was hired for the day so that guests could watch England beat Sweden during the World Cup quarter final.

Mrs Chapman said: “The atmosphere was electric and when England won, the whole place erupted into applause and singing It’s coming home.”

This year’s winners were Mac-Life in the men’s tournament, Rustington FC in the veteran’s tournament and Girls and Goals in the women’s tournaments.

Staff at Coastal West Sussex Mind

Staff at Coastal West Sussex Mind

The runner ups were Precision FC in the men's tournament, More Beercelona in the veteran's tournament and Quality in the women's tournament.

The best referee award went to Nico Scuotto.

The Our Fair Play awards, sponsored by Will Power Worthing, went to One Love United in the women's tournament, RAFA in the veteran's tournament and Con Club Crew in the men's tournament.

The Best Name award, sponsored by Stafford Johnson, went to FC Copenbadly and Beercelona.

Staff from Coastal West Sussex Mind ran a mental awareness stall and managed a raffle.

Mrs Chapman said: “We feel it is particularly important to have their presence at this event because as well as raising much needed funds for this charity, our main target is young men, who statistically are very susceptible to mental illness and the least likely to ask for help.”

Debbie Watkins, community fundraising and communications manager at Coastal West Sussex Mind, said: "The Ryan Chapman Cup is a lovely way to pay tribute to Ryan and there was a great atmosphere there on Saturday.

"We are very grateful to Ryan's family for choosing to support us, and to all the friends, players and everyone who took part and made it such a success.

"As well as being a good opportunity to raise awareness about mental health, we very much appreciate the money raised as we are a small, local charity and rely on fundraising and donations for much of our work supporting local people with their mental health and our work challenging mental health stigma."

Mrs Chapman thanked everyone who helped make the day a success, adding: “We would particularly like to thank Ryan’s friends, too numerous to mention, for their continued time and passion every year.

“Also our sponsors Sian and James of Willpower and Neil and Ian of Stafford Johnson.

"Without their continued help and financial support our event would not be possible.”

Funds raised at the event are still being counted and will be announced on The Ryan Chapman Cup facebook page soon.