Hartlepool friends organise charity night to ‘remember our mate Kevin’

Kevin Ainger

Kevin Ainger

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A GROUP of friends are organising a charity night in memory of their popular pal who died suddenly aged just 29.

Kevin Ainger was found at his home, off Oxford Street, Hartlepool, on Sunday, October 13.

(left to right) Ian Jones, Alan Hughes, Derek Bell, Chris Stevens Jayson and Craig Draper outside the former Wesley Nightclub

(left to right) Ian Jones, Alan Hughes, Derek Bell, Chris Stevens Jayson and Craig Draper outside the former Wesley Nightclub

The death of the shopfitter, described as “everybody’s mate”, has left a huge hole not only in his family’s lives but among his scores of friends.

A group of his pals, including Alan Hughes, Ian Jones, Chris Stevens, Timmy Russell, Craig and Jay Draper and Derek Bell, are arranging a charity event in memory of the Hartlepool United fan.

It comes after many of Kevin’s friends paid tribute to him at Pools’ home game against AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday night following his funeral.

Still dressed in their black ties, they sang “there’s only one Kevin Ainger” in a touching tribute to their pal from the Town End terracing.

The charity night, with proceeds to help his family, including parents Derek senior, 59, and Pat Heron, 57, is from 7pm tomorrow at the Changes bar, in York Road.

There will be a raffle and auction featuring a signed Hartlepool United football shirt from Pools’ 2005 play-off game against Sheffield Wednesday at Cardiff.

The shirt, which has been donated by Kevin’s friend, Barry Hodge, has a reserve price of £75.

There is also a signed Hartlepool United football and an autographed Manchester United shirt.

There will also be a three-litre bottle of vodka to play a toss the coin game with and whoever gets the coin closest to the bottle wins it.

There is also a karaoke.

Alan, a 29-year-old maintenance worker from Catcote Road, who knew Kevin since they were both 15, said: “All the lads are keen karaoke singers, as Kevin was.

“He liked to get up and do a bit of Westlife, and O-Town’s All Or Nothing.

“Everyone is going to pay £1 to sing a song on the night.”

Alan, who drank in the Wesley nightclub with Kevin, added: “Kevin loved his music and was always dancing round and telling jokes.

“He would never see anyone at the bottom of the Wesley steps with no money, even someone he just knew vaguely, he paid me in once or twice. It’s just how generous he was.”

The event will also feature football cards, and local businesses including Vikki Ryan’s Salon and Boutique, Yates and the Nuzuri salon have donated raffle prizes.

Any businesses wanting to help with the raffle can contact Alan on 07854 387454.

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