Football fun in Ben’s memory

Ben McNicol Trust sports events at Edensor road, Meads, June 7th 2013 E24029P'Parents of Ben McNicol with Bev and some of the children taking part in the events

Ben McNicol Trust sports events at Edensor road, Meads, June 7th 2013 E24029P'Parents of Ben McNicol with Bev and some of the children taking part in the events

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Friends of an Eastbourne six-year-old who died of a brain tumour last year held a Footy Fun Memorial event in his honour.

Little Ben McNicol, a pupil at St John’s Meads School, died suddenly in May last year and his family and friends attended the get together in Meads to raise awareness of the Ben McNicol Fund and to raise money to help families whose children have cancer.

It was organised by family friend Bev Stevenson with the help of Year 1 Sports Science students from Sussex Downs College, who acted as team managers and referees.

Bev said, “The afternoon was to celebrate the life of Ben and so the children of St John’s Meads School could have fun remembering him doing one of the things he loved best, playing football.”

Around 120 junior children took part in a football tournament and 90 infants made flags, had relay races and parachute games before watching the finals of the football tournament. All the children received a medal for taking part and prizes were given to children who had shown extra effort during the afternoon.

Bev said, “Parents joined us for the event at which we sold food donated by Ronke and John Harris and tea and coffee provide by Starbucks. The children all donated money to participate and we raised almost £1,000 for the Ben McNicol Trust.

“There was a fantastic atmosphere with all the children cheering each other on, the school staff were very supportive of the event and helped us to organise all the children. I would like to say a big thank you to all those who helped and attended the event which meant we could raise such a fantastic amount for the trust.”

The Ben McNicol Trust has now raised more than £50,000 towards buying Ben’s House, a property where families can stay during their children’s treatment near Royal Marsden Hospital.