Football match in St Albans boosts funds for Crohn's and Colitis UK
PUBLISHED: 19:30 13 May 2016
A sports event organised in memory of a St Albans man who died about 18 months after being diagnosed with cancer has raised thousands of pounds for a local charity for which he he worked.
The Alex Demain Charity Football Match was held on Sunday, May 1, at Sandridge Rovers FC – Alex’s former side.
Alex, who died at the age of 29 in September last year, was a popular and well-loved friend of many people in St Albans and Harpenden.
The football fan worked for Crohn’s and Colitis UK in St Albans where his charm made him a favourite among colleagues.
But the charity had a deeper meaning for Alex as he and his sister were both diagnosed with Crohn’s as children - something he did not reveal to his colleagues for a long time.
His sister Sophie, 28, a PE teacher who lives in St Albans, said that she and Alex were diagnosed when they were about seven or eight years old and “it changed our lives and caused us obstacles but more positively brought us closer together.
“We learnt to live with it and never let it prevent us from doing what we wanted.
“Alex loved sports, especially football.”
‘Demain FC’, which consisted of Alex’s good friends, won the charity match 2-0 against Sandridge Rovers.
All money raised, £9,200 in total, will go to Crohn’s and Colitis UK.
The event was organised mainly by Alex’s good friend Jamie Fish, along with Sophie.
Jamie said: “The Demains and I were taken back by the support and generosity shown for the day; it just proved how loved and liked Alex was, and how the local community rallied to support a great day, for a great charity.”
He said the event was “absolutely packed” with hundreds of people. Among items donated to help raise money were a signed David Beckham shirt, which went for £400, a boxing glove signed by professional boxer Anthony Joshua, bought for £550, and a Bentley for the weekend was auctioned for £750.
Sophie said: “I am extremely overwhelmed by the amount of people who showed their support at the event, whether they were playing, baking cakes, giving or buying prizes for the raffle or auction.
“It has been extremely hard for my parents and me, but seeing the way Alex impacted so many people’s lives warms our hearts.
“Alex is gone, sadly, but he will never be forgotten. I know his legacy will shine bright. Thank you, from all the Demains – your support means the world to us.”