Portsmouth charity football match will help to tackle meningitis as Elliot remembers his dad Gary

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A dedicated campaigner and fundraiser is looking to kick meningitis into touch with a charity day and football match later this week.

Meon Milton Youth FC in Portsmouth has organised the family day for Elliot Spencer, who lost his father 10 years ago to meningitis.

Gary Spencer, left, with his son Elliot Spencer before Gary passed away 10 years ago, from meningitis

Gary Spencer, left, with his son Elliot Spencer before Gary passed away 10 years ago, from meningitis

The day will also celebrate Elliot's young daughter Harper who recovered after suffering from the devastating disease at an early age.

The fundraiser will take place this Sunday at Meon Milton's club grounds at Eastney Playing Fields, and the money raised will go to the charity Meningitis Now.

Elliot, 28, from Portsmouth said: ‘Harper's illness brought back some bad memories for the whole family following the death of my father 10 years ago.

‘Meon Milton FC has put on this annual charity game and fundraising day every year since my dad died.

Harper Spencer while in hospital with meningitis

Harper Spencer while in hospital with meningitis

'With it being 10 years since he passed, this year is going to be extra special.’

Harper was only nine weeks old when she was admitted to hospital with suspected bacterial meningitis.

Tests showed it was in fact viral meningitis and since then Harper has gone on to make a full recovery.

Meningitis Now events manager Kirsty Owen-Hayward said: ‘Elliot's story shows that this disease can strike anyone.

Managers and players at Meon Milton Youth FC line up for The Gary Spencer Memorial Cup last year

Managers and players at Meon Milton Youth FC line up for The Gary Spencer Memorial Cup last year

‘We're pleased to see Harper doing so well and we hope she has an amazing day on Sunday.

‘Everyone at Meningitis Now would like to thank Elliot and Meon Milton Youth FC as their efforts will make a real difference when it comes to helping those at risk of meningitis.’

The day will be shared with the local Tom Prince Cancer Trust Charity who will be holding a fundraising game in memory of Tom Prince, a former Meon Milton player who died from bone cancer aged 15.

This match will kick off at 2pm, followed by a second match at 4pm in memory of Elliot's father Gary which will be played by managers across all age groups at Meon Milton FC.

Managers and players at Meon Milton Youth FC line up for last year's Gary Spencer Memorial Cup

Managers and players at Meon Milton Youth FC line up for last year's Gary Spencer Memorial Cup

Alongside the two matches, there will be plenty of activities taking place including face painting, a barbecue and bar.  

Entrance for members of the public is free and gates will open at midday.