A FOOTBALL club’s annual charity dip in Stokes Bay was made all the more poignant this year as it raised cash in memory of a woman who died while pregnant.
More than 25 people from Gosport FC remembered Julie Duffin, 41, of Herbert Road, in Gosport, as they plunged into the icy waters.
Julie, a chef who was the club’s fixtures secretary, died after suffering a pulmonary embolism while out for a family dinner in Gosport.
She was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth where her daughter Florence was delivered. But tragically, the newborn died two days later on June 25, 2013.
Her husband Scott, 47, and daughter Beth, 16 and son Ben, 14, were among those in the water yesterday.
It was the latest in a series of fundraisers for the neonatal unit at the hospital, which has seen £1,300 raised – the swim will double it.
Scott, a logistics manager, said the fund was launched in remembrance of Julie.
He said: ‘Everything was fine during the pregnancy, she went to the midwife during the week.
‘She was the sensible one of the two of us, the calm of the storm, everyone’s friend.
‘It’s just strange – one minute she’s there and the next, nothing.
‘Julie used to do everything. It’s like learning again.’
While at the dinner on June 23 at the Great Wall, in High Street, Gosport, Julie was of out of breath.
Minutes later she collapsed and an ambulance was called.
Julie’s mum and dad Janet and John Seymour, both 65, of Northcroft Road, in Gosport, were watching yesterday as the club jumped in the water.
The family have been supported by the community – staff from the funeral directors even took part yesterday.
John said: ‘She was our rock of the family.’
Beth added: ‘She was like my best friend. She was like a mum to everyone, they used to come round all the time.
‘They’d call her Momma Jules or Momma Duffin.’
The club had planned to take part in the cancelled. Gafirs New Year’s Day swim.