Tonbridge fireworks raise money for two special causes

Lee Colyer

TONBRIDGE Round Table will be raising money for Heart of Kent Hospice at this year’s Halloween fireworks display in memory of former member Matt Miles, who died from cancer on March 27 this year.

The event takes place on Friday [October 27] at Longmead Stadium, home of Tonbridge Angels Football Club, who run the evening with the Round Table.

There will be a ‘beat the goalie’ competition, a children’s fancy dress competition, face-painting, a funfair and community stalls. Gates open at 6pm with the fireworks at 8pm.

The Round Table’s Stewart Rolls said of Matt Miles: “He was so fondly thought of by so many, and was such an inspiration to those around him and all at Tonbridge Round Table – a great friend, a wonderful father to Dan and Nick, and doting husband to Claire.”

He added: “Heart of Kent Hospice provided amazing support to Matt and his family during his illness, and a group of us have been supporting this wonderful charity through a number of fundraising activities this year.

“The care they provide is free and offered to anyone who needs it – they are currently caring for over 1,300 patients and their families. This incredible support costs £4million each year, with over three-quarters raised by the local community.”

The Angels are also running the Football Fightback campaign with a charity that is special to them: Cardiac Risk in the Young [CRY], which encourages young people between the ages of 14 and 35 to attend heart screenings.

The club will be holding another heart screening on December 9 at Longmead. Each screening costs £35 per person, and the Tonbridge Lions have donated £1,000 to the cause so that the total number of young people who have been screened in the town will exceed 1,000.

The Angels started the Football Fightback scheme in July 2015 after one of their former players, Junior Dian, aged 24, collapsed on the pitch and died during a pre-season friendly at Whyteleafe FC. His heart stopped while he was playing due to undetected cardiac problems.

Seven years before, Angels’ Under-18 player Jack Maddams, 17, died in his sleep from an undetected heart condition. Since then, the club has raised over £33,000, which has paid for 900 screenings.

Ken Thomas of the Lions organising committee said: “We are concerned that 12 young people die in this country every week because of an undetected heart condition.”

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