Laxfield lad organises charity football match in memory of former coach

Jack Melton (left), hopes to raise more than �700 in memory of Mike Readman (right), who passed away last year. ANL-140818-120226001
Jack Melton (left), hopes to raise more than �700 in memory of Mike Readman (right), who passed away last year. ANL-140818-120226001

A Laxfield youngster is hoping a double-header of events will raise hundreds of pounds in memory of his former football coach.

Jack Melton, 14, a pupil at Stradbroke High School, is organising a charity football match and a raffle party night in memory of Mike Readman, who died in April 2013 after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Mr Readman, who started Stradbroke Youth in January 2010, also served on the village’s parish council, and formed the Stradbroke History Group. Involved with football both on and off the field when timed allowed, he was a keen a Wolverhampton Wanderers supporter, and even had his retirement celebration at the club’s stadium in 1999.

Funds raised from the events will go to Cancer Research and Marie Curie Nurses.

Jack, who currently turns out for Laxfield under-15s on a Saturday, and Stradbroke under-16s on Sundays, said he hopes to raise £700.

“He worked hard and inspired us all over that time, we all owe him so much,” he said.“I thought a lot of Mike, I got to know him when we moved to Stradbroke in 2008. I just had this idea in my head that I wanted to raise money in Mike’s memory to show everyone how much he has done for the village, me and my friends.

“This means a lot to me, to raise money for the two important charities that helped Mike and his wife Ann get through their difficult time, and to show how much he meant to me.”

Mike’s wife, Ann, said she was “overwhelmed with admiration” at the gesture.

“I am very, very proud of Jack. He is an amazing lad,” she said. “Mike recognised what a good footballer he was and still is, when Jack joined the team.”

“In 2010 Mike was diagnosed with cancer and had to go through chemotherapy and a major operation. Throughout Jack gave his support by sending messages and get well cards and then as Mike’s strength improved Jack helped him with the coaching.

“He promised Mike he was going to do this and now it’s going to happen.

“Jack chose Cancer Research and I asked if Marie Curie nurses could also be supported as they were so much help to us during the last few weeks of Mike’s life.

“When my husband needed 24-hour care the chance to sleep became very precious. Marie Curie gave me that break twice a week, giving me the peace of mind in knowing he was being cared for by a trained nurse.”

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