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Celebrity football match raises thousands in memory of Millers fan

A pitch-perfect football match was held in memory of a sports-mad dad to raise funds for the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity.

A host of celebrity and amateur footballers joined forces at the Phoenix Sports and Social Club in Brinsworth on 29 August to celebrate the life of David Rudman, who died at Rotherham Hospital aged 66 in July 2020 following a short battle with liver and kidney failure and pneumonia.

The David Rudman Memorial Match was organised by David’s son Mark Rudman, 37, and 40-year-old daughter Leanne Harry, raising £3019.39. The ‘Supporting Charities’ team beat the David Rudman team 5-2.

Mark, of Wickersley, said:

“My family wanted to honour my dad’s memory and to mark the anniversary of his death by doing something positive. We couldn’t think of a better way than a charity football match because my dad was a huge Millers fan.

“Matchday was absolutely amazing. Leanne and I were so grateful to everyone who turned up to honour my dad’s memory, to cheer on the players and to raise so much money for charity. It exceeded all our expectations and was worth every minute it took to organise. I was really pleased to score a goal!

“My dad would have been shy about all the fuss but I’m sure he would also be proud about how much we raised.”

Celebrity football match raises thousands in memory of Millers fan
The David Rudman football team

Famous faces at the event included James Hooton, Emmerdale’s Sam Dingle, former Leeds United player and BBC Radio Leeds presenter Sanchez Payne and former Sheffield Wednesday star Daniel Pudil.

Mark’s family raised funds for the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity to thank the NHS for caring for David. The funds will be split equally with Cash for Kids.

Suzanne Rutter, Charity Engagement and Development Manager, said:

“The David Rudman Memorial Match was the perfect summer fundraising event and a poignant tribute to David. We are really grateful to Mark, Leanne and everyone who helped to plan such a fabulous event – we hope they inspire others too. All the funds raised will really make a difference to our patients and their families.”

The event will return again next year on 16 July 2022.

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