Football fan to host charity match in memory of “Blues mad” dad A big-hearted 27-year-old will be hosting a football fundraiser this July, to help raise much-needed funds for a charity close to his heart. Martyn Williams is organising the charity football match in support of Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, after the charity cared for his dad, Lenny, in 2015. Lenny – who was a huge Birmingham City supporter – was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer five years ago and was told that he had just months to live. It was then that he was put in touch with Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, which provides vital care to local people who are living with life-limiting illness. Martyn said: “When the hospital told us that there was nothing more they could do for dad, I was completely broken – it was a really upsetting and difficult time for our family. He had just spent eight weeks in hospital and all we wanted was for him to come home. “Birmingham St Mary’s was a lifeline to our family. They could care for dad at home which made a huge difference to all of us. We had a wonderful nurse called Rose who helped dad to manage his physical symptoms as well as his emotions. She had a great knack for bringing out dad’s brilliant sense of humour, even at the darkest of times. “With Rose’s support, dad was able to enjoy big family events during his final few months – something that we didn’t think would happen. My older brother, Alex, was getting married and having dad at both the stag do and the wedding meant so much to our family. We are so thankful that he was able to be a part of those special occasions.” Lenny was an avid Blues fan and would often spend his Saturdays watching his favourite club at St Andrews. Martyn – who is now a qualified tennis coach – has been arranging the charity football matches as a way of celebrating his dad’s memory and to raise vital funds for the Hospice that cared for him. Martyn added: “My dad was the biggest Blues fan so putting on these charity games is my way of remembering his legacy. This year will be the fifth time I’ve put on a football fundraiser and over the years we’ve raised over £7,000 for the Hospice. I know my Dad would be so proud of what we’re doing, especially as the funds raised will help more families like ours.” Martyn’s football fundraiser takes place on Saturday 6 July from 2pm to 5pm at Beechcroft Tennis Club in Hall Green. Both adults and children are welcome, with several five-a-side matches set to take place during the fun-filled afternoon. Delicious hot BBQ food will be available for hungry football players and spectators and they will be able to take part in family-friendly activities such as ping pong, a tombola and raffle. Tickets cost £10 for adults and £5 for under 12s, with all funds going towards the Hospice. Tickets can be bought on the day or by contacting Martyn on 07972 168532 or [email protected]. This year, Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice is celebrating 40 years of care across Birmingham and Sandwell. When the Hospice first opened in 1979, it could care for 25 people on any given day. Four decades later and the Hospice is supporting over 400 people every day, providing care in people’s homes, in the community, at its Day Hospice facility and at the Hospice’s Inpatient Unit.