Burnley man overwhelmed as hundreds support football tournament in aid of cancer charity

Hundreds of people turned out at the weekend to support a Burnley man's terrific efforts to raise cash for research into a devastating disease his dad was diagnosed with last year.

Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 3:06 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 3:08 pm
Matt and his dad Paul (centre front) with some of the players at the football tournament that has raised 10,500 for Pancreatic Cancer UK.

Matt Simm was overwhelmed when around 300 people turned out to support the charity football tournament he organised on Saturday which has raised the fantastic total of £10,500 for Pancreatic Cancer UK.

Matt's dad, Paul, was diagnosed with the disease in October and since then Matt has been determined to raise as much awareness as possible.

An inspector at Rolls Royce in Barnoldswick, where his dad also worked before his illness, Matt roped in family and friends to be in his team against his colleague Phil Taylor and a group of his pals.

Paul pictured with his wife Melanie at the tournament on Saturday.

Held at the Prairie Sports Village in Burnley, Matt, who is 28 and lives in Harle Syke, said both he and his family were overwhelmed by the support shown on the day.

He said: "It was a truly incredible day, emotionally very overwhelming with the turnout but I also feel very proud and just glad I could get everyone there for my dad to show him how loved and well thought of he is by so many.

"I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has supported us and helped us to make this happen."

Affectionately known as Zac, after he played a character by that name in a school play while a student at the former St Joseph's Primary School in Nelson, Paul has lived all his life in Brierfield with his wife, Melanie.

The family, including Matt's sister Becky Holroyd, her husband Nick and their eight-month-old daughter, Olivia, all attended the match along with Matt's new bride, Melissa.

A grand raffle hosted by Burnley born TV presenter Tony Livesey raised £3,600 and an auction made £2,750. Items were put under the hammer by Neil Simpson and the top lot was membership of Nelson Golf Club which made £800. Other lots included a cricket shirt signed by Andrew Flintoff, and signed shirts from Burnley and Manchester United.

A cake stall with treats donated by local businesses also made the whopping total of around £800.

After the event scores of people gathered to celebrate at the nearby Prairie pub which made record sales and ran out of lager!

And the tournament itself was keenly fought with the main game ending in 7- 2 to Matt's team. Matt scored a penalty and the other goal scorers were Daniel Boothman, Karl Turner, David Boys, Josh Boothman and Richard Johnson.

Anyone who would like to make a donation to Matt's campaign is asked to go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/matt-simm1