THE father of a Royal Marine is holding a charity golf day in memory of his son’s friend.
Lee Slark’s son Daniel trained with Marine Richard Hollington, who became the 300th member of the armed forces to die from injuries sustained in Afghanistan.
Mr Slark, of Little Park Avenue, Bedhampton, used to pick the boys up from training and bring them back home together.
He was deeply affected by Mne Hollington’s death last year, knowing his son would face the same dangers.
He said: ‘It was desperately sad. My son is out there now on a seven-month tour of duty.
‘It’s always a worrying time and every time the phone rings your heart races because you fear it’s going to be bad news.
‘I was speaking to Richard’s dad Robin and said I’d like to do something. I play golf and mentioned the idea of a tournament to a few friends and it’s ballooned. The idea has really taken off.
‘There’s already 120 people taking part and we’d like a lot more. We want to raise at least £10,000 for Hounds for Heroes.
‘It’s a new charity which needs all the support it can get. The money will pay for two dogs to be trained and named by us.
‘It’s a local charity to Petersfield and we thought it would be a great way to remember Richard.’
Hounds for Heroes was set up by Gulf War veteran Allen Parton, from Clanfield, to train dogs to help injured men and women who have served in the armed forces and the emergency services.
There are already plans to name one of the dogs Yomper Rich after Mne Hollington.
Mne Hollington’s family and friends have raised a staggering £83,000 for Help for Heroes.
Mr Hollington will take on the 100-mile South Downs Yomp in June while his wife, Jen, will retrace her husband’s steps when he finishes, on a five-day hike.
Anyone who would like to take part in or sponsor the golf tournament, at Rowlands Castle Golf Club on July 14, should call Mr Slark on 07900 346474.
To sponsor Mr and Mrs Hollington go to southdownsway-nonstop.org.uk.