FRIENDS and family of a tragic Dearne Valley sports fan raised more than £10,000 with a football tournament in his memory.
Andrew Sneddon (31), of Barnburgh, died in February after being hit by a train.
Former schoolmate Dmitry Fedotov organised the ten-hour, eight-team tournament at Doncaster’s Goals complex to pay a fitting tribute to his running-mad friend.
And Dmitry said he was delighted with the day’s bumper proceeds, which will go to the Doncaster branch of Samaritans.
“It was a huge success,” said Dmitry.
“Around 400 people attended the event and 60 footballers played non-stop for ten hours across three pitches.
“A fourth pitch was used to hold a community fun-day to support the players and the event.
“This involved a bouncy castle, a baby play area, a cake stall, a raffle and a tombola.
“There was a carnival atmosphere all day and emotional tributes were payed to Andrew in the evening in the bar area, where 100 of his friends gathered.
“Raising over £10,000 was far beyond what we initially expected and this will remain in the memories of Andrew’s family and friends for life.”
Andrew’s sister Kate Jones, also from Barnburgh, said: “The people involved in the event were absolute heroes.
“I cannot thank each and every one of them enough from the bottom of my heart; players, stall holders, visitors, sponsors — everyone.
“Hopefully the money raised will make all the difference to a person or a family and encourage a similar group of wonderful friends somewhere out there.”
Andrew's godmother Dorothy Key, said: “People were so generous and committed into making the event the success that it was.
“Through such a difficult time, the support from the community coming together was overwhelming and a touching testament to how popular and highly regarded Andrew was.”
Dmitry also thanked all the businesses who supported the event, including Isagenix UK for providing free refreshments, Cream Castles for supplying a free bouncy castle, face painter and glitter tattooist, team sponsors Helm and Goals for letting the teams play for free.
After his friend’s funeral n February, Dmitry said he was “so popular”, adding: “Everybody loved him.
“When I was at his packed funeral, I looked around and thought: We need to do something to remember him.”
Kate said the efforts put into making the tournament and fun day a success were “a reflection of not only how many people love and miss Andrew, but also the kindness and support in this community”.