A year after their QPR-loving father died from advanced prostate cancer, Amy Corbett and her brother, Simon, came up with the perfect way to commemorate and celebrate his life: a football fun day fundraiser. She tells us about what happened and why raising awareness was as important as the £5k they donated from the event to Prostate Cancer UK.
In September 2016, our world as a family came crashing down when we lost our amazing dad to prostate cancer. He was 65.
Dad had been diagnosed with terminal disease in June 2012 and his cancer was very well managed up until 2015. He soldiered on and his fight was incredible, despite the complications along the way. He died on the 9th September 2016. My brother, Simon [pictured below with Amy and their dad], and I have never experienced heartache or pain like it – losing your best friend, your rock and your dad.
We decided that we needed to do something to try and prevent other families going through what we have. As dad’s 66th birthday was approaching, we decided to hold a fundraiser to celebrate the life of our wonderful dad – with all proceeds going to Prostate Cancer UK.
Dad had a huge passion for football and in his latter years, ran Simon's football team. We decided to hold a charity football match with all the familiar faces dad had coached over the years. Having been a huge Queens Park Rangers fan, it was only right that Simon's team wore a QPR strip. The captain of the opposing team was lead by Mark Pope, our closest family friend and like a second son to my dad. His team wore a Brentford FC strip – suitable rivals for the QPR team.
We were overwhelmed with everyone’s support and generosity. We certainly felt someone was shining down on us
The date and venue was booked: 1 April at Cobham Football Club, the day after dad's birthday. We wanted to make the event something everyone could enjoy – since dad was a huge family man who adored his children and three grandchildren – so we extended the football match into a family fun day. We had a huge bouncy castle, face painting and glitter tattoos, a cake stall, pick-and-mix and a lucky dip. Not to forget a visit from the ice cream van!
A BBQ was on for the whole day and we sold out of all our food! We also had an incredible 16-prize raffle, with our top prizes including a trip for two to Bali and the weekend use of a Lamborghini.
The day was a huge success and we were overwhelmed with everyone’s support and generosity. Despite a forecast of showers, we had sunshine all day. We certainly felt someone was shining down on us. The match ended in penalties after a 3-3 draw, and Brentford went on to win.
At the end of the match all the players, children and myself gathered on the pitch. We had organised a balloon release and people had written notes and messages to their loved ones who are no longer with us. They were let off after a round of applause and cheers, and it really was the end to a perfect afternoon.
Since we started fundraising, we've managed to raise a whopping £4771.79 – all of which has been donated to Prostate Cancer UK.
But it wasn't just about the money, but raising awareness too. If one man decides to take the trip to the GP or get checked out because of our fun day, it could save his life. We just want to do whatever we can to stop other families going through what we have.
This is just the stepping stone for future events and next year we hope to get bigger and better. We hope to see you all there!
Amy and Simon with their families.