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Family and friends of Liam Still have raised £6,500 since the 21-year-old goalkeeper's death in a car accident in May( l to r) Ellis Bilham, Kirsty Breeze, nan Theresa Cregg and Richard, Katie and Amanda Still. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY
Monday, December 31, 2012
Children in Norwich will benefit from the fundraising legacy left by a popular Sprowston footballer who died following a car crash.
Liam Still was preparing to do a skydive just days before his fatal accident in May – so family and friends stepped in to take his place and finish the job the 21-year-old started.
And they have continued his fundraising work since, collecting more than £6,500 to be shared between Nelson’s Journey, the Norfolk charity for bereaved children which Liam supported, and Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge, where Liam died on May 24.
As well as the skydive, his friends and family have organised race nights, raffles, charity football matches and even a carol concert for the Liam Still Foundation, set up in memory of the former Wroxham FC and Riverside Rovers goalkeeper.
After his death, more than 50 of Liam’s friends followed his lead and put their names the organ donor register, and his organs have already been used to help others.
His mother, Amanda, said that the family’s first Christmas without her son had been “very quiet”, but that she had been overwhelmed by the response to the charity.
“It’s been amazing the way that everyone has played their part and organised so many events to raise money,” she said.
“I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has raised or donated money. It’s been incredible.”
Ms Still said the family had initially planned to donate the money to Addenbrooke’s but decided to share it with Nelson’s Journey to follow Liam’s wishes.
“That was the charity he was going to do his skydive for, so it seemed like the right thing to do,” she said.
“It will also be going to help children, which Liam would have liked, and the work Nelson’s Journey do is so important.”
The family hope to register the Liam Still Foundation as a charity in the new year, and plan to choose new causes to support each year, with an annual football match, summer football tournament and a wrestling night planned as annual fixtures.
Some of the money will be used to improve the lives of children in other ways, such as paying for a magician to visit sick children at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
Liam, who lived with his mother and younger sister Katie, suffered fatal injuries after his Vauxhall Corsa crashed on the B1108 Watton Road near Bawburgh as he drove back to his St Margaret’s Drive home at around 5.15am on May 19.
After initial treatment at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, he was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, where he died.
His parents discovered after his death that Liam had signed the organ donor register, and dozens of his friends did the same in the days following his death.
Ms Still revealed that just three days after Liam’s death, she received a card from a patient who had been donated one of his kidneys.
“It was just a simple card, saying thank you and telling us that he would look after it,” she said.
“It was heart-warming to know that somebody had received something and they are so grateful that they sent a card.
“They might have thought it would be upsetting for me, but I appreciated it, that someone had taken the time to say thank you.”
To make a donation or to find out more about the Liam Still Foundation, visit www.liamstillfoundation.co.uk