Marine's father pride as thousands raised in son's memory

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More than £50,000 has been raised for injured war heroes following the death of a young marine.

Marine Richard Hollington died from injuries sustained in a roadside blast while on patrol with 40 Commando in Afghanistan in June.

The 23-year-old's family and friends were left devastated by his death but have since rallied to bring about a positive outcome from the tragedy.

A series of fundraising events have been held, with pub karaoke nights on Friday helping to bring the total raised for Help for Heroes to a staggering 52,980.

His father, Robin Hollington, said: 'We have been totally amazed by the support and generosity of people, some of whom we just do not know.

'Overall, the focus of both the fund-raising and the project with Help for Heroes is a bit like finding a very small piece of silver lining in a very large, very dark cloud.

'Doing something positive, out of a shattering experience, is a small but positive comfort out of that tragedy.'

Mne Hollington, who once played semi-professional football for Fareham Town FC and was a former student of Purbrook Park School and South Downs College, became the 300th British serviceman serving in Afghanistan to die.

Afterwards, the family decided they wanted to raise 30,000 – 100 for each of those killed.

But that target has been far exceeded even as the number of fatalities rise.

A karaoke night at The Cricketers Inn, Steep, and one organised by Mne Hollington's friends in Monmouth, Wales, have now helped push his family over the 50,000 target for Help for Heroes.

Robin, from Steep, near Petersfield, said he saw the consequences of war when at his son's bedside in Selly Oak, Birmingham, with servicemen being left amputees after bomb blasts.

He said injured troops relied on support from Help for Heroes.

Speaking of life without Richard, he added: 'Clearly life will never be the same, but generally we have settled into a new normality, though there are some very tough times. The week around Remembrance Day was particularly hard, it was non-stop events.

'And Christmas will be hard, not just because it's Christmas, but because it would have been Richard's 24th birthday on Boxing Day.

'We think a group of his friends are coming over for a moment's contemplation at the war memorial in Petersfield and then going to a pub to have a drink to him, definitely something Richard would have appreciated, especially if it's port.'

More events are planned. To donate to Help for Heroes, in Mne Hollington's memory, go to justgiving.com/Marine-Richard-Hollington

HOW SOME OF THE MONEY WAS RAISED

July - Steep and Stroud Garden Club cream tea arranged by Jos Hooton raised 2,700.

August - Charity football match organised by Mike Hart at Fareham Town Football Club raised 4,000. A lorry pull by Petersfield Football and Rugby Club raised 500.

September - Tandem parachute jump by Gemma Hollington raised 700 and the Steep family fun day raised 350.Clive Waller donated 14,100 from a financial services dinner for the Aberdeen UK Platform.

October - Craig Johnson and Luke Spurway arranged a charity golf match which raised 6,900.

Gill Borland ran the Great South Run and held a games evening with friends which raised 3,400.

December - Karaoke night at The Cricketers Inn, Steep, raised 1,560 and 1,330 in Monmouth.