23 Oct 2017

The fundraising footballers

Carl Hewson was 26, fit and sports-mad when he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in 2015. Here, Carl’s team mates from his local football club describe how Carl’s illness and death in 2016 have inspired them to raise  more than £10,000 for Leukaemia UK in his memory

Carl was playing for Coney Hall Churches United football team when he became ill in 2015. His team mates immediately rallied round by organising events as his condition deteriorated.

Carl’s friend and team mate, Dave Daplyn, said: “When Carl was diagnosed with AML we witnessed the rapid effects of his treatment and wanted to support him in any way we could.

“As Carl was being treated at King’s College Hospital, we decided to support Leukaemia UK as it’s a charity that works closely with King’s and other hospitals supporting patients, doctors and researchers in the area of blood cancers.”

In 2016, when the time came to buy a new home kit, the team unanimously agreed to install the charity’s logo on the front of the shirts in place of a main sponsor to help raise awareness. It was a gesture Carl very much appreciated. They also took part in Movember, raising £1,401 with their ‘interesting’ moustaches.

When Dave got a ballot place to run in the 2016 London Marathon, he decided to run for Leukaemia UK in support of Carl. He said:

“Throughout my London Marathon training and despite fighting his own battle, Carl was always more concerned about me. This epitomises Carl. He had such a huge capacity for others and willingly gave his thoughts, prayers, time and energy. To me, running the London marathon in 2016 was about supporting Carl. He was a super fit, super fast man who simply loved to help people.”

Dave completed the 2016 London Marathon, raising £1,726.96 for our charity.

Sadly, in November 2016, Carl died, leaving his family, friends and team mates devastated. However, they were determined to continue fundraising in his name.

When Dave found out that Nigel, Carl’s father, and their family friend Steve were running the 2017 London Marathon for us in Carl’s memory, he too felt compelled to apply for a place and run for Leukaemia UK, raising a further £2,095.64.

Coney Hall Churches United’s support for Leukaemia UK continued into 2017. We received £425 from The Bromley & Croydon Christian Football League, donated at their AGM as the nominated charity in memory of Carl.

In September 2017 five team members completed the extreme Man v Mountain challenge and raised an staggering £4,134.75 in memory of Carl.

On 11 November 2017, the team played Worcester College Old Boys in the first ever Carl Hewson Memorial Cup game, raising £576 for Leukaemia UK. The match was won by Coney Hall Churches United 4-2 and the day was enjoyed by all, including Carl’s father, who was asked to join in the game.

We wish to extend our gratitude to all Coney Hall Churches United teammates and their family and friends, who, thanks to their support in memory of Carl, are helping us continue to make a difference to those affected by blood cancers.

We are touched by all your support. You can find out more about what is being done in celebration of Carl’s life.

Thanks for Dave’s kind words to the Leukaemia UK team:

“I would like to take the opportunity to say a MASSIVE thank you to the team at Leukaemia UK for all the support you have given us throughout our endeavors. We hope to be able to do much more in the future to raise awareness, and much-needed funds for Leukaemia UK and all the amazing work you do!”

Carl’s family has kindly asked for us to set up a Memorial Fund for Carl Hewson for those wishing to make a contribution to Leukaemia UK in Carl’s memory.

Read more stories from our community.

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