England star to headline charity memorial fund event

Ian Richardson
Ian Richardson

A FOOTBALL star is helping a tragic dad to raise money by headlining at a charity night.

Former England, Arsenal and Middlesbrough favourite Paul Merson will be the guest speaker at an evening of fundraising to support the Jo and Mya Memorial Fund, set up by a Hartlepool businessman.

The Swan FC Billingham, supported by Goffy Media, is hosting the sportsman’s evening on Thursday, October 25. Another star name – Crissy Rock, from ITV show Benidorm – is the comedienne.

Businessman Ian Richardson, 39, who runs an online retail firm based on the Queens Meadow Business Park in Hartlepool, was already tackling an astonishing list of projects to raise money for the Jo and Mya Memorial Fund.

The fund was set up in memory of his wife Joanne, 40, and eldest daughter Mya, aged six, who died in a car accident in August 2010. Ian and his daughter Ava, now aged two, survived the crash.

Now comes another event to add to the charity’s funds, which are thought to have topped £50,000 this year alone.

Ian said: “The Swan has supported us with lots of events and I know the owner Alan Moutry because we used to play ice hockey for the Billingham Bombers.

“They wanted to hold a sportsman’s dinner and donate the proceeds to the charity and I thought ‘great’.

“Paul Merson is a living legend who has done it all in his footballing career.

“Crissy Rock appearing is great because Benidorm is one of my guilty pleasures.”

Tickets are £20 and doors open at 7pm, A two-course carvery meal will be served at 7.30pm. Tickets are now available from the Swan Bar, or over the phone on (01642) 553157 or 07845336908.

To support the fund, visit www.joandmya.co.uk