This is the first time I've stated a blog post with a quote, but in this case I feel it is suitable as it reflects exactly the thoughts the person this post is about has and for why he is doing what he is doing. let me explain...
My good school friend, Steve Gooch, has been heavily involved with his local football clubs, managing both the adult teams as well as the junior teams but also in playing too...
after 23 yrs on the pitch, he is holding a retirement match at Carrow road, home of the Canaries.. Norwich City. but this isn't just going to be a normal retirement match, he is also trying to raise money for charity..... all the players have paid a fee to play (to cover the cost of the hire of the grounds as well as a donation to the charity) also there will be an auction to which there will hopefully be some fairly good prizes, if anyone would like to donate items also (local businesses welcome) that would be amazing and gratefully received.
The reason for this charitable nod is where the quote at the start comes in... in this case the friend in our hearts was a young man by the name of Neil Offley, all through school, he was a cheeky chappy, with a kind heart and a good soul, he would be the first to help you out if you needed it... everyone has that one friend that will be your partner in crime any time you need them, that was Neil.
In our last year of high school in 1998, Neil while having a medical for his ongoing arthritis problem, had a blood test and it was then he was diagnosed with Leukemia, it hit everyone hard when we were told, but he never let it get him down, he was the first to tell us to cheer up. He missed the last portion of the school year what with having his treatments and hospital stays, but even going through all that, he never dropped his smile, not even once... for the next few years he carried on fighting the disease, again never dropping that cheeky grin he would always give you. Then on the 30th April 2000, we got the heartbreaking news that Neil had lost his battle against cancer at the young age of 18. since that day his friends have done all they can to keep his memory alive.
I shall be covering this event and the charity the Steve is donating the proceeds to is The Anthony Nolan Trust as they were exceptional throughout Neil's illness.
If you would like to come and watch the game I'm sorry to say that the maximum of 200 people allowed to spectate (due to the amount of provided stewards) has been met, so unless you have already contacted Steve regarding attending, please do not just turn up
For those that have shown an interest in the upcoming match we have a few things very special to add.
Using the Justgiving donation page (link below), we will be holding 2 draws with the chance to win the following prizes....:
Thank you to the amazing people at Aviva who have kindly donated a team signed Norwich City '14/'15 Home shirt.
EVEN MORE SOUGHT AFTER NOW THEY ARE BACK INTO THE BARCLAYS PREMIERSHIP!! OTBC!!
AND THAT'S NOT ALL!!!!
We just received word from The fantastic guys and gals at Liverpool FC who have kindly donated vouchers for 2 Adults to have an Anfield Stadium tour (Valid until 31st December 2015) which are winging themselves to Steve as I type ready to be handed to a lucky winner (pic will be uploaded when it arrives)...
As there are two prizes there will be two draws. one for the Anfield Stadium tour and one for the Signed Norwich shirt. EVERYONE that has already kindly donated to the justgiving page, the 30+ players that have paid a donation to play and a few that couldn't play but have still donated, Have already been automatically entered into both draws to win these great prizes. the draw will take place the morning after next weeks game (meaning ending 9 am Monday 1st June).
Anyone that donates a minimum of £5 (to be fair to those that have already) will be added to the draw(s) of their choosing.
please leave contact details on the page when you donate, as well as the word 'Anfield' and/or 'NCFC' so we know which draw to include you in. (if you don't leave this information we cant enter you into the draw as we will have no way to notify you)
So please get donating and sharing this blog post...
Steve Gooch can be reached on: firstname.lastname@example.org