Andy’s Army take on Pompey Legends for memorial match

From broken bones to new beginnings

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FRIENDS of a man who died tragically of skin cancer braved the rain to play a fundraising football match in his memory.

Pompey Legends fielded a team against Andy’s Army, the group behind the fundraising for Andy Prowting, the 24-year-old, pictured below, from Leigh Park, who lost his battle with the disease in December.

29/3/15 ''Andy's Army team against Portsmouth FC Legends at Gosport Borough. The players line up for a minutes silent and minutes clap for Andy ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (150473-2)

29/3/15 ''Andy's Army team against Portsmouth FC Legends at Gosport Borough. The players line up for a minutes silent and minutes clap for Andy ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (150473-2)

Former Pompey footballers Paul Walsh, Guy Butters and Dave Waterman beat the Andy’s Army team 12-2 in the match at the GDL Stadium, Privett Park, Gosport, yesterday.

But organiser John Abberley, who worked with Andy at Gunwharf Quays, could not have been happier with the result.

Mr Abberley, 33, from Gosport, said: ‘We got an absolute hammering but it was brilliant.

‘Loads of Andy’s family were there to watch us and they all said that Andy would have had a good laugh at the result.

Andy's Army team against Portsmouth FC Legends at Gosport Borough. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (150473-3)

Andy's Army team against Portsmouth FC Legends at Gosport Borough. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (150473-3)

‘The game was originally planned for November to help him raise the money for lifesaving treatment.

‘But it had been raining really heavily the day before so we had to call it off.

‘I spoke to Andy when he knew he wasn’t going to survive and he told me the match should still go ahead. Unfortunately, this time it was a memorial match.

‘Andy was a lovely bloke and always happy.

Andy Prowting

Andy Prowting

‘I’m proud to have been able to play the match for him.’

Andy, a security guard, earned admiration for his fight against illness.

He was diagnosed with skin cancer in January last year and the disease spread to his bones and liver.

When doctors told him there was nothing more they could do, his family and friends formed Andy’s Army to raise money to send him to America for what they hoped would be lifesaving treatment.

After dozens of fundraising events across the area around £45,000 was raised.

Sadly, Andy died in December, before going for the treatment, and the money will now go to the Teenage Cancer Trust, and children and young adults cancer ward at Southampton General Hospital.

Mr Abberley is still counting up the cash but believes he has raised in the region of £1,000.

Around 150 attended the match on Sunday.

He said: ‘I couldn’t have done it without the help of the Pompey Legends who turned out to play. I would also like to thank Gosport Borough Football Club.’

Go to the Andy’s Army Facebook page, which links to the justgiving.com page.