Memory of dad killed in one punch attack is kept alive by football

The memory of a much-loved father killed in a one-punch attack is being kept alive through the sport he loved.

Sunday, 29th May 2016, 2:16 pm
Updated Tuesday, 31st May 2016, 8:53 am
Gary Horton and Mark Sickling

Mark Dixon was a huge fan of football and played for both Belle Vue Old Boys and the Sportsman Bar.

Today,, both teams came out to take to the pitch in memory of the 32-year-old and for the chance to lift the coveted Mark Dixon Memorial trophy.

Gary Horton and Mark Sickling

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The event, now in its second year, also raises money for a trust fund set up in his daughter Ella’s name.

Mark, from Peterlee, had been on a night out in Hartlepool, after earlier attending a wedding, when he was punched in the head by a drunken reveller, suffering a fractured skull.

He died six days later on October 11, 2014, having never regained consciousness and never seeing his wife Lorraine and daughter again. His 29-year-old attacker Paul Sutton, formerly of Raby Gardens, Hartlepool, was jailed for six years after being found guilty of manslaughter.

The memorial event held at Greatham Sports Field in Greatham Village was attended by family and friends.

Charity football match in memory of Mark Dixon

Ahead of the game, silence fell across the field as everyone paid their own tribute to Mark, before balloons were released.

His cousin Gary Horton, who organised the event alongside Mark Sickling, said: “This is the second time we’ve held this match and the turnout is absolutely amazing.

“It was just so emotional to see everyone at the match, turning out in Mark’s memory.

“He was such a great lad who would do anything for anyone. He would have loved it here and would have been the first one pulling on the boots if it was for someone else.

Playing in memory of Mark Dixon

“He didn’t deserve what happened to him.

Last year the event raised just over £400 towards a trust fund set up for his seven-year-old daughter.

The match was followed by a family fun day at the cricket club featuring a princess tea party by A Bit of a Do, Skyline bouncy castle, Arnell Craftscope entertainments, Faces Galore face painting, disco, and Frozen characters.

(GOAL CELEBRATION) CHARITY MATCH IN MEMORY OF MARK DIXON
Gary Horton
Crowd gathers at memorial football match
Charity match in memory of Mark Dixon
Tragic....Mark Dixon
Gary Horton and Mark Sickling
Charity football match in memory of Mark Dixon
Playing in memory of Mark Dixon
(GOAL CELEBRATION) CHARITY MATCH IN MEMORY OF MARK DIXON
Gary Horton
Crowd gathers at memorial football match
Charity match in memory of Mark Dixon
Tragic....Mark Dixon