Pals hold fundraiser in memory of popular RAF veteran

Dave Ayers

with his children Louis and Hattie
Dave Ayers with his children Louis and Hattie

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A GROUP of life-long friends are holding a fundraiser to celebrate the life of their pal Dave Ayers.

Dave, who was born and raised in Portsmouth, died in November last year aged 57 from cancer – leaving behind two teenage children, Hattie and Louis.

His wife Jo, the children’s mother, also died from cancer six years ago.

Now to mark his passing, and to celebrate his life, a fundraiser is being planned by his friends, to take place at Portsmouth Rugby Club, in Norway Road, this Saturday evening.

One of the organisers, Alan Murray, said: ‘Dave is very much missed by everyone that knew him and fundraising for Prostate Cancer UK by a number of his friends – Paul Johnson, Michael Elias, Russell Baldwin, Owen Elias and me – in his memory is our way of celebrating his life.’

Dave attended Highbury Primary School and Southern Grammar School for Boys (now Portsmouth College) – where he met and made his group of friends.

He represented the boys’ school as a goalkeeper. After school he was a prominent member of Portsmouth Rugby Club through the mid 1970s and early ’80s, playing in the position of hooker for the first team.

After school Dave became an apprentice before joining the RAF in 1980. He served his full term in the military before retiring in 2007.

He was awarded the MBE for his services to charity – organising fundraisers for the RAF – in 1994.

He later moved to Cheltenham, but would often visit Portsmouth and he was still in regular contact with his group of life-long friends.

Michael, from Southsea, said: ‘Dave was an all-round top bloke. He was a very likeable person and he would do anything for you.’

The friends also held a fundraiser at Southwick Park Golf Club, in Pinsley Drive, Southwick, on Friday afternoon, which 70 people attended.

Michael said: ‘It was a fantastic event. It was brilliant and we raised moire than £1,400 – an amount that we are hoping to beat this weekend.’

Anyone who knew Dave and wishes to attend the evening should contact Paul Johnson on 07540 125934 or e-mail johnsonspaul@virginmedia.com