Celebrity football match planned in memory of Liam Ogunshakin
1:01pm Wednesday 2nd October 2013 in Ryedale news
Back row, from left, Laura Snowdon, Pete Rivis, Jane Baben, Shaun Jackson, Marco Baben, Mark Harrison and Rachel Speight-McGregor; front row: Sharon Jackson, Matty Petch and Rachel Newton
PLAYERS and supporters of a Ryedale football team are organising a celebrity match on Sunday to raise funds in memory of one of their friends.
Liam Ogunshakin was just 28 when he passed away in April after a battle with cancer.
His friends, who played alongside Liam for Duncombe Park FC, decided to host the fundraiser to support Cancer Research UK.
They have organised the match against ‘The Celebrities’ captained by Kelvin Fletcher, otherwise known as Andy Sugden from Emmerdale, along with stars from Coronation Street, Waterloo Road and popular boy bands.
Matty Petch, fromHelmsley, one of the organisers, said that from an initial idea the event had got bigger and bigger.
“It has been a real team effort and we have had so much support from people in the town,” he said.
“We decided we wanted to do something to raise funds in memory of Liam as he was such a great lad and loved by everyone.”
Matty said he had played football for many years with Liam and everyone had been devastated by his death.
“There were so many people at his funeral and all the team wore their football shirts,” he said.
“You just don’t expect someone you know to die from cancer at such a young age.”
Liam was brought up in Ryedale following the death of his father before he was born. His mother, Brenda, moved to the area with her older son, Dan, to be closer to her sister, Jean, and her husband Marco.
Sadly, Brenda and Jean were killed in a car accident in 1993, with Marco taking on the responsibility for the two brothers who were then aged eight and 12.
Marco, who now runs Red Roofs bed and breakfast in Helmsley, with his second wife Jane, said Liam had studied law at Sheffield Hallam University after leaving school and had then followed his brother to Australia and Thailand.
“He did a lot of travelling and studied for a diving course which he taught out there,” he said.
“After a while he came back to live in York where he started working for a student travel agency and also writing his own novels.” Marco said shortly before last Christmas Liam had gone to his doctor after suffering pain in his kidneys and passing blood in his urine.
“Liam was due to go out to Germany where his girlfriend was from but before he left he came to live here with us until he could have a scan at the hospital,” he said.
“While he was here, Liam was taken ill and taken to A & E where they found he had cancer which had spread throughout his body.”
Marco said it had been such a shock as Liam had been so fit and healthy and was still playing football up to last Christmas.
“It just all came on so quickly and Liam seemed to be responding to treatment but the cancer had spread so much that we lost him in April.”
Marco said he was delighted with the fundraising that was taking place in memory of Liam.
“It is marvellous what the lads are doing here. We will be doing all we can to support them and hope everyone will do the same.”
The charity football match takes place on Sunday at Helmsley Sports and Social Club. Gates open at 1pm and the match kick-offs at 3pm.
There will also be a bar, refreshments, bouncy castle and other attractions. The celebrities will signing their shirts which will be put up for auction. Admission is £5 with under 10s free.