Former team pals put on match to remember Alan

First published in News

FAMILY and friends of a man who died from a brain tumour marked the 10th anniversary of his death with a special football match.

Alan Jones, from Breightmet, died on February 24, 2003, aged 38.

He was a regular member of the Bowling Green pub football team and collapsed during one of their matches.

Although he was initially thought to have developed epilepsy, he collapsed again at work and was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He died 14 months later.

Now, 10 years after his death, family and friends have rallied together to remember Mr Jones with a charity match at the Breightmet United FC ground.

Bowling Green team mates who had played alongside Mr Jones got together to take on a Tansy Green pub team on Sunday, beating them 4-1.

Before kick-off, Mr Jones’ grandson, Alan, aged 10, released a balloon after a minutes’s silence.

Tracey McGowen, Mr Jones’ partner, said: “The whole day went brilliantly and it’s all thanks to our friends, Wayne and Alison Dalton, who organised it and everyone who took part.

“We raised quite a bit of money and it just goes to show what a great community spirit we have around here. A lot of the lads had played football with Alan, so it was very emotional for everybody when we held the minute’s silence.”

More than £1,500 had already been raised in the last year, with raffles, rounders matches and a fancy dress walk, which will go to Bolton Hospice and Macmillan Cancer Support. Sunday’s match and gathering at the Bowling Green raised more than £350 from bucket collections.

Mrs Dalton, from Breightmet, said: “We tried to get as many players as we could who had played with Alan and there were 16 all together.

“It was lovely to see so many family and friends there. We had a really good turn-out.”

Mr Jones left four children, Gareth, aged 30, Danielle, aged 26, Hayley, aged 22, Lauren, aged 19 and a 10-year-old grandson, Alan.

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