A GROUP of friends have clubbed together to organise a charity football match in memory of a young woman who died aged just 22.
Ali Peart, old from Cosham, died last May. She had been suffering from a brain tumour.
Inspired by his cousin’s death, carpenter Simon Mead set about fundraising for the charity that helped her.
Simon, 29, also from Cosham, said: ‘Ali was a bubbly, fun, opinionated girl, who was usually right.
‘She was more than a cousin to me, she was like a sister. She is definitely the reason for my fundraising.
‘Her death was a wake-up call to me. CLIC Sargent helped her when she was alive and I wanted to do my little bit to say thank you to them.’
When his friends Ross Turner, 29, and Dan Sillence, 29, heard about Simon’s plans, they decided to club together and help him put on a charity football match.
Ross said: ‘CLIC is a charity which is very close to Sy’s heart after he lost his cousin Ali to cancer.
‘As an experienced fundraiser myself, I wanted to do my bit to support Sy’s efforts and so I proposed reuniting our old Sunday league pub football team for a one-off charity match.’
The friends initially intended to organise a low-key event but were delighted when AFC Portchester offered them its ground at no cost.
Things have snowballed from there, and now they have two teams lined up for the match on Sunday.
Their old pub team Manor House XI will take on Sporting Club Creme de Menthe, a team created by Dan.
South Downs College has stepped in to help the lads with promoting the match, printing the programmes and taking photographs.
They have 18 players confirmed, who will each donate £6 to the cause.
There will also be fundraising buckets passed around the spectators.
The friends hope to raise £360 for the charity on the day.
They are encouraging spectators to show their support to CLIC by wearing pink items of clothing on the day.
Simon said: ‘We would love people to come and watch and chuck some money in the buckets. I may even come on the pitch for a cameo!’
The match kicks off at 1.30pm on Sunday, February 24 at AFC Portchester’s home ground at Wicor Recreational Ground, Fareham.
To donate go to justgiving.com/simonmead.