Football match held in memory of tragic window cleaner who died after falling from ladders

Pictured at the Graham Clark charity match are friends Stephen Kirkup, left, and Aaron Hall, his children Mason and Rhianna and dad Michael, back.
Pictured at the Graham Clark charity match are friends Stephen Kirkup, left, and Aaron Hall, his children Mason and Rhianna and dad Michael, back.

A South Tyneside father who fell to his death from a ladder has been remembered through a football match in his memory.

Graham Clark was 21 years old when his parents Elaine and Michael had to make the heartbreaking decision to turn off his life-support machine.

I’m just over the moon they are helping to keep my son’s memory alive in this way.

Elaine Clark

The window cleaner, from Tyne Dock, had spent almost a week hooked up to the machine after he fell 15ft from ladders while cleaning windows at a home in Laygate, South Shields.

He had been due to become a father for a second time when he died on June 4, 2008.

Still grieving for the loss of their friend, a football tournament was organised in his memory by pals for the first time two years ago.

This year, teams playing for the Graham Clark Memorial Trophy also raised over £600 for his two children, Mason and Rhianna, now aged eight and seven.

Mason was only six months old when his dad died. Graham did not get the chance to meet his daughter.

This year the memorial contest was won by Buzzers FC, who beat eight teams to lift the trophy.

The event was organised by friends Stephen Kirkup, Aaron Hall, Graham’s brother Christopher and his dad Michael.

Mum Elaine said: “This is the second year they’ve done this and I’m just over the moon they are helping to keep my son’s memory alive in this way.

“I feel so proud that people have taken time to organise the tournament and take part in something in memory of my son.

“His two children always ask about their dad and it’s heartbreaking when they keep asking for him.

“It’s really nice what his friends are doing, not just in his memory, but also for his children.”

Graham’s family would like to thank Jason Meiers for allowing the teams to use the pitches at Chuter Ede Community Centre, and 
everyone who took part, in particular those who 
helped organise the tournament.