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Pitch perfect fundraising event in memory of football fan

12 May 2021 16:48:00
Mark Rudman

The family of a man who passed away at Rotherham Hospital will be hosting a memorial football match in his memory to raise funds for the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity.

A host of celebrity and amateur footballers will join forces on 18 July 2021 at the Phoenix Sports and Social Club in Brinsworth to celebrate the life of David Rudman, who died aged 66 in July 2020 following a short battle with liver and kidney failure and pneumonia.

The David Rudman Memorial Match is being organised by David’s son Mark Rudman, 37, and 40-year-old daughter Leanne Harry. They hope fundraisers will come along to cheer on the players, which include Emmerdale stars James Hooton and Jay Kontzle, Hollyoaks actors David Kennedy and Owen Warner, Rich Allen from TV show SAS Who Dares Wins and David’s grandsons Ryan and Josh.  

Mark, of Wickersley, said: “My family wanted to honour my dad’s memory and to mark the anniversary of his death by doing something positive. We couldn’t think of a better way than a charity football match because my dad was a huge Rotherham United Football Club fan.

“We can’t wait for the David Rudman and celebrity teams to get together on match day. We have some brilliant players lined up and we are incredibly grateful to everyone who has signed up to take part so far.

“We’re hoping for pitch perfect weather and for a real festival spirit at the event, especially so soon after lockdown. Leanne and I are planning lots of family friendly activities to keep everyone entertained, such as a face painter, children’s games, refreshments and a DJ.

“We’re looking forward to a great day out where we can all remember our dad. If he could see what we’re planning he would love it, but he’d hate all the fuss!”

Mark’s family are raising funds for the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity to thank the NHS for caring for David and also for Cash for Kids.

Mark added: “I’ve chosen to raise funds for my local NHS charity because the doctors and nurses who cared for my dad we’re amazing. We were devastated to lose him but he could not have been cared for better when it really mattered the most.

“The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust has cared for me and my two daughters, Sophie and Mia, when they were born too so this is my way of saying thank you. We also love Cash or Kids as they do so much for youngsters in need in Rotherham.”

The event is free to attend and will begin at 12pm with kick-off at 1.30pm. You can help Mark and his family to reach their £1,000 target by donating via Virgin Money Giving here https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MarkRudman1  

Suzanne Rutter, Charity Engagement and Development Manager, said: “The David Rudman Memorial Match is the perfect summer fundraising event and will no doubt be a poignant tribute to David, who was a huge football fan. We’re incredibly grateful to Mark, Leanne and everyone who is working hard to plan what I’m sure will be a wonderful event. 

“Please support them if you can by attending the match to cheer on the teams or by boosting their fundraising page with a donation. All the funds raised will help the charity to fund the extra special resources, projects and equipment which the NHS would ordinarily not be able to afford and which benefit our patients and their families.”