Son hosts South Tyneside football fundraiser in dad’s memory

Ryan Clark (left) and Mark Thompson who are arranging a charity football event in aid of the British Heart Foundation Picture by FRANK REID
Ryan Clark (left) and Mark Thompson who are arranging a charity football event in aid of the British Heart Foundation Picture by FRANK REID

A devoted son who was devastated by his father’s death is raising funds for a charity in his memory.

Ryan Clark says he struggled to cope after losing his dad, Trevor Clark, to heart disease in 2014..

The 66-year-old had undergone a triple heart bypass and his family believed he was on the road to recovery.

Despite appearing well, the grandfather died in his sleep weeks later.

After the success of a football tournament – named as the TC Cup – last year, which raised funds for the British Heart Foundation and Help4Heroes, Ryan, from Hebburn, is putting his fundraising skills to the test once again.

This time, as well as a football tournament for youngsters and adults, he is also hosting a fun day and an evening of entertainment.

I needed to turn a negative into a positive.

Ryan Clark

All money raised will be donated to the British Heart Foundation, for which he is a volunteer.

The 26-year-old, who is the lead for the BHF Hebburn fundraising group which was formed six months ago, said: “My dad had undergone a triple bypass in June. He had come home and was making a recovery.

“I had come back from football and he had died in his sleep. The day before he had looked well.

“I really struggled coming to terms with my dad’s death. I was down and feeling depressed. I was stuck in a rut.

“I knew I couldn’t carry on like I was and decided I needed to try and turn a negative into a positive to try and help others fight this horrible disease.”

He added: “I’ve got a passion for football, and with my football connections I decided to get my friends and family together to organise a tournament.

“Last year, I raised £5,000 which was split between two charities. This year, I am wanting to get more kids involved as my dad doted on his grandchildren, which is why I have organised a family fun day alongside the football tournament.”

The football tournament and fun day will be held at Hedworthfield CA, in Cornhill, Jarrow, on July 22.

The under-15s tournament will kick off at 10am while the adults will kick off at 10.30am with registration of teams 15 minutes prior.  

Meanwhile, a bouncy castle, face painting, tombola and crossbar challenge will help keep visitors to the fun day entertained. The event will finish at 2pm with people invited back to the Mill Tavern.

The evening’s entertainment will start at 7pm at The White Lead in Hebburn.