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A GOAL-DEN DAY; Friends raise PS15,000 at charity match in honour of tragic Stewart.

Byline: CARLA TALBOT

Charity effort Hundreds of people gathered for the fun and games at Keanie Park in memory of Paisley man Stewart Kelly, who passed away last year Pals of a football-mad Paisley man have hailed the community for coming together to raise PS15,000 in his memory.

Friends of Stewart Kelly who sadly died just aged 30 last year laced up their boots at the weekend to host an Old Firm clash in aid of cystic fibrosis charity the Butterfly Trust.

The group of 50 friends were joined by Celtic fan Stewart's parents Shirley and Ricky, his brother Charlie, sister Yvonne and girlfriend Dionne Pearson for the event at Keanie Park in Johnstone.

And his closest pals were left stunned by the response to the event, which saw hundreds of people raise more than last year.

The first event in Stewart's memory saw bumper cheques for PS3,523.30 go to Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Butterfly Trust and the Willow Foundation.

This year they raised a total of PS15,000 thanks to the generosity of the public.

Taxi firm Gryffe Radio Cars also dug in deep for the event, pledging to donate 50p to the charity of every 'like' on their social media.

Big-hearted cabbies also promised a further 30p from every hire throughout September . Chris McPherson, who organised the match, said: "We were totally overwhelmed by the response we got on the day.

"We even had a couple come down from Ayr to support us just based on the fact they have been personally affected by cystic fibrosis - which was amazing.

"The whole community came together to help us raise such a fantastic amount.

"It just shows how much Stewart meant to so many people."

Stewart had only just turned 30 before he died on May 30 last year.

He had battled with cystic fibrosis - a life-limiting lung condition - his whole life . Following his death, his pals talked about having a kickabout in his honour but had no idea the event would be such a success.

Thanks to the response from the community and the support from the Butterfly Trust, the group now have high hopes of continuing the tradition in memory of their friend, who they say would have loved the atmosphere.

There was plenty on offer for the hoardes of people who turned up to the match including live music, raffles and games.

A silent auction which included signed Celtic and Rangers balls also helped coin in a further PS7,000.

The Butterfly Trust also came along to chat to people about the work they do to support those affected by cystic fibrosis.

Chris added: "It was such a brilliant atmosphere and it was all in good fun. All the guys who were playing had a blast and all the kids who came along loved it too as they got their pictures taken with the mascots.

"It couldn't have gone better. "Stewart would have been totally buzzing about the match and would have really enjoyed getting involved in it with everyone." "It was such a great way for us to remember him."

Stewart would have been totally buzzing about the match Chris McPherson

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Publication:Paisley Daily Express (Paisley, Scotland)
Date:Sep 11, 2019
Words:527
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