Sons' charity football match honours their popular Clarets fan dad four years after his death

The two sons of a well known Clarets fan and popular musician, who died in 2016,  hosted a charity football tournament in honour of their dad.

Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 12:06 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 12:07 pm

The idea for the tournament started as a joke when Liam Simm, who is 20, threw down the challenge to his younger brother Oliver for his 16th birthday.

Liam said: "I suggested us playing against each other for Oliver's 16th as a laugh and then we thought about doing it properly as a charity match as quite a few of our friends said they would like to be involved."

So the boys decided to go ahead with the match to raise money for Pendleside Hospice in honour of their dad, Padiham man Martin Simm who died four years ago after a courageous battlle against cancer.

Liam and Oliver Simm, now 20 and 16, with their much loved dad Martin who died in 2016 after battling cancer for three years.

Held last Sunday at Roefield Leisure in Clitheroe, Simm 20 beat Sim 16 3-1 in front of a crowd of around 120 people, including family and friends cheering them on. And Oliver was more than happy to lose the game on his 16th birthday.

The brothers had set themselves a target of £200 and to date they have raised £1,477 thanks to donations from generous well wishers including £100 from Clitheroe Wolves, the team Oliver plays for.

Several people volunteered to help out at the event and the trophies were handed over by the boys two grandads, David Simm and Shaun Cross.

Martin who was 40, was a devoted dad to his sons. Liam was only 17 when his dad died and Oliver just 12.

The teams line up for a pre-match photo before the tournament organised by the sons of Padiham man Martin Simm who died in 2016.

Affectionately known as 'Simmy' Martin battled a rare head and neck cancer for three years, facing his illness wirh bravery and courage and even continuing to work as a housing benefits assessor.

A gifted guitarist and lyricist, Martin launched his band, Pretend Girlfriend, in the 90s. The band built up a loyal following and gigged regularly both locally and at some prestigious venues including the Cavern in Liverpool. Martin wrote a lot of the band’s material, basing his songs on events from his life.

Martin remained best friends with his former partner, Kirsten Mather and she helped her sons organise the event in memory of their dad.

A proud Kirsten said: "There has been a couple of big fund raising events held in Martin's memory since he died but the boys always found it difficult as they were so young.

"But when they came up with the idea for the match and their friends said they would get involved they were really enthusiastic about it.

"I am so proud of them both for doing this."

Liam now teaches PE at St Leonard's Primary School in Padiham and Oliver is in his final year at Clitheroe's Ribblesdale High School.

And they are both hoping that as the tournament was such a success it could become an annual event.