Heartbroken family of Lee Rigby stunned by support of Portchester fundraiser

Lee Rigbys family, sister Amy, mum Lyn and stepfather Ian 	     Picture: Ian Hargreaves (170417)
Lee Rigbys family, sister Amy, mum Lyn and stepfather Ian Picture: Ian Hargreaves (170417)
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PARENTS of the murdered Fusilier Lee Rigby were left overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for a charity football match in honour of their son.

About 1,700 people packed into the grounds of AFC Portchester to witness the spectacle – which is tipped to raise more than £8,000 for a good cause set up in memory of the soldier.

Portsmouth legends Darren Anderton and Andy Awford

Portsmouth legends Darren Anderton and Andy Awford

Among those watching the clash between Portsmouth and Rangers legends was Lee’s mother, Lyn, stepfather Ian and little sister Amy, 12.

Battling back tears, Lyn, 50, praised the people of Portchester for making the event a stunning success.

She said: ‘This is just overwhelming. The support has been tremendous.

‘We just can’t thank people enough.’

Lee Rigby

Lee Rigby

The family had trekked from their home near Manchester to open the Lee Rigby Memorial Cup game.

Ian added: ‘Support like this just lifts you off the floor. It’s amazing what everyone has done for us.’

Fans were treated to a star-studded line-up of football legends, including Linvoy Primus, Sean Davis and Hermann Hreidarsson, as well as Rangers heroes Colin Hendry and Michael Mols.

The match was organised by Hamble duo Gary Nicholl and Marlene Godwin.

It was supporting the Lee Rigby Foundation, which is offering help to veterans battling PTSD and bereaved armed forces families.

All the cash is going towards a major £750,000 project to building Lee Rigby House and Lodge, in Staffordshire – a scheme which will take a year to finish.

Marlene said she was overwhelmed by the reaction of fans – many of whom had travelled from Scotland for the day.

She said: ‘I haven’t got enough words in my vocabulary to express how thankful I am.

‘A “thank-you” seems like a really insignificant word for what I want to say.’

Among those watching the match was Steve Saunders, 39, of Portsmouth and his two sons Harry, 10, and Lennon, six, who were mascots on the day.

Steve said: ‘The community spirit has been great.

‘What happened to Lee could have happened to anybody, bless him.’

Lyn added the charity would help to ‘protect the legacy’ of her son, who was murdered by Islamic fanaticists Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale near the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, south-east London, in May 2013.

To donate, please visit the website at leerigbylodge.org.