A FOOTBALL match — held in memory of tragic teenager Aleysha Rothwell — has raised hundreds of pounds to help pay for her headstone.
Teenagers Marcus Makin, aged 14, and Alex Dolan, aged 13, arranged for Breightmet Wanderers to host a fundraising event in Aleysha’s memory.
The event involved the club’s under 13s team going head-to-head with the under 14s team at its St Catherine’s Academy, Harwood.
The boys raised £240 from the event. People paid £2 to watch and donated funds to the cause.
The under 14s team won the game 5-4.
Referee Macauley Stephens waived his fee to referee the game at no cost Marcus, a year nine St Catherine’s Academy pupil, said: “My friend Cerys Lees’ sister was Aleysha’s girlfriend. When she passed away I wanted to do something.
“Alex and I decided to arrange a match. I didn’t know Aleysha but I by her in the street a few times and I would say “alright”. A few of us wore T-shirts with Aleysha’s photo on underneath our football tops. After the match we went around the pitch and applauded.”
Alex, a year nine pupil, at Mount St Joseph’s School, said: “It was mine and Marcus’ idea to arrange a match as we wanted to help raise money for her headstone.
“Quite a few people came to watch and we did a minute’s silence before the game.”
Aleysha, aged 16, died in April at her foster family’s Breightmet home.
She was found hanged. Her death has sparked friends to rally around to fund a purple headstone — Aleysha’s favourite colour — to go on her grave at Tonge Cemetery.
Fundraising continues for the headstone, which is believed to cost more than £3,000. Friends have been selling wristbands with the words RIP Aleysha to boost the fund.
Anyone who can help the friends to reach the target can call Ellen Hammond on 07923 826209 Morgan Pritchard on 077402 90852.