On the ball for tragic dad’s family

Tony Salvin

Tony Salvin

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A CHARITY football match could become an annual event to raise cash for the family of a tragic dad who died aged just 41.

Devoted Hartlepool dad Tony Salvin died after a 15-month battle with cancer in March this year.

Supporters FC  and Sports Bar FC players past and present who played in a memorial football match in memory of their former player Tony Salvin. Picture by FRANK REID

Supporters FC and Sports Bar FC players past and present who played in a memorial football match in memory of their former player Tony Salvin. Picture by FRANK REID

His death came 16 years after his first son, three-year-old Anthony, died when he drowned in a freak swimming pool accident while on holiday in Majorca in September 1993.

Tony’s friends staged a charity event that saw Hartlepool Supporters Club take on the Brewer and Firkin FC at Grayfield’s to raise cash to be put in a trust fund for Tony’s four children who he left behind when he passed away. His pal of 10 years, Neil Sleeman, 33, organised the event along with Ste Hockborn and plans to make the memorial match an annual event.

The two teams of past and present local players each paid £10 join in the game, which saw The Brewer and Firkin team beat the Supporters 4-1.

The event then carried on back at Hartlepool United Supporters Club, in Sandringham Road, where there was a raffle and an auction, followed by two of Tony’s children, Kieran and Reiss, presenting the winners with their trophy.

Neil, who works as a machine operator at Saica Packaging, was delighted with the turn-out and the huge amount of money raised.

“It was a brilliant day in memory of a top bloke,” said the dad-of-two from Ashley Gardens, Hartlepool. “I’d like to thank everyone who gave so generously, referee Mark Gale who refereed the match, Technical Day School Old Boys Football Club for letting us use the pitch and changing rooms.”

He added: “We’d like to do the match every year to build up the trust fund for Tony’s kids.”

Tony fought a courageous 15-month battle against stomach cancer, 16 years after he suffered the heartache of losing Anthony.

Following the youngster’s death, Tony went on to have another son, Ryan, before meeting his wife of nine years Annalisa, 36, and becoming dad to Kieran, Reiss and Amy.