Cricket match to remember cancer victim Jamie Shirley
Friends of a caretaker who lost his battle with cancer last month are to unite for a repeat of the charity cricket match he attended last year.
Jamie Shirley, 38, of Bradford Road, Sherborne, died in May more than a year after being diagnosed with the terminal illness.
Teams from the now-closed Cross Keys, where Mr Shirley had worked behind the bar, and Digby Tap pubs will go head-to-head at Compton House Cricket Club on Sunday, July 8 in a repeat of a similar event 12 months ago.
However, the Cross Keys side will be called Jamie’s All Stars and proceeds from the event will be split between MacMillan Cancer Support and St Margaret’s Hospice.
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Organiser Ben Tupman said this year’s match had already attracted support following the passing of his friend. He revealed Mr Shirley – who worked at Preston Academy in Yeovil until his diagnosis in January 2011 – was using the second event as a motivational tool in his final days.
He said: “We have got plenty of players, which is great, plenty of people will be turning out and plenty of people have promised they will be there. Jamie was such a big part of the lives of a lot of people and a lot of people knew him.
“His family are 100 per cent behind this and despite their loss this is a big day for them. We hope it will be a good turnout for Jamie and his family.
“Jamie was desperate to be involved in this day and just days before he died he said he needed something to aim for but he probably knew more than anyone he would not be there. It is going to be a hugely emotional day and the pressure is on us to make sure we make it an event worthy of Jamie, which will not be an easy task at all.”
Mr Tupman, 35 of Sheeplands, Sherborne, added he hoped the public would back the event that raised £5,000 last year. As well as the cricket, the day will boast live music, a bar, barbecue, auction and raffle. People can also sponsor individual players.
“We just hope that somehow we can raise more than we did last year,” said Mr Tupman. “Economically that is tough but there are very few people who will not have had their lives touched by the two charities we have chosen.
“St Margaret’s Hospice was an amazing place for Jamie and his family. He did not feel like he was in hospital but instead somewhere that was like a home. The whole atmosphere is amazing there and both charities deserve every penny we can raise.”
Further details of the event can be found on Twitter @jamiescricket and at www.facebook.com/jamiescricket2012.