A couple whose three bridesmaids all lost their fathers to cancer are organising a football fun day to raise money for Katharine House Hospice.
Banbury residents Samantha and Lee Byrne married at Ardencote Manor, Warwickshire on July 31, 2011 but by their big day two of their bridesmaids’ fathers had lost their battles with cancer and the third bridesmaid has since lost her father.
All three men spent their last days at the Adderbury-based hospice. Mrs Byrne said her friends’ tragic losses inspired her to host a football fun day which will take place on Sunday, October 27 from 10.30am-5pm.
“It’s really sad. We’re all in our mid-20s and I was lucky enough to have my dad walk me down the aisle, but my friends won’t have their fathers there to do that,” she said.
She added: “There’s not really much I can do to take that pain away but we want to do anything we can that might help people who have to fight the disease.”
The couple decided to organise a football-themed day because Mr Byrne has been heavily involved in the sport locally for many years. He currently plays for Souldern but formerly played for Banbury United and the town club has allowed the couple use of Spencer Stadium for the day, with up to six local teams due to play in the charity tournament.
Mrs Byrne said: “We wanted to do something that everyone could get involved in and get families along too with their kids.”
Teams will pay a fee to play in the tournament which will go to Katharine House and money will be raised from stalls. Teams confirmed so far include Souldern, Swan FC and Hardwick AC. Admission to the event is free. To book a stall call Sam on 0782 693 1074. Donations of raffle prizes are also welcome.