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Dad would be so proud of football tournament

PUBLISHED: 11:00 13 March 2010 | UPDATED: 08:47 02 July 2010

Mel Lacey, left, and Jez Davies are raising money for the Blue Ribbon Foundation

Mel Lacey, left, and Jez Davies are raising money for the Blue Ribbon Foundation

Peter Walsh

A Norwich man's bid to start a charity to help men who suffer from cancer has received a new boost - from the son of a man whose own life was cut short by the disease.

A Norwich man's bid to start a charity to help men who suffer from cancer has received a new boost - from the son of a man whose own life was cut short by the disease.

After surviving his own battle with prostate cancer Mel Lacey wanted to launch the Blue Ribbon Foundation (BRF) for men to emulate the work the Pink Ribbon Foundation had done for women fighting the disease - but needed £5,000 to start it.

And now Jez Davies, an avid Norwich City fan, has vowed to step in and help the charity reach its goal by holding a football tournament in the region.

Mr Davies, 24, who is originally from Norwich but now lives in Stevenage where he runs football tournaments for Luton-based company playfootball.net, said all profits from the event, which kicks off in Peterborough on Saturday, will go to the BRF.

The former Norwich City College student came up with the idea for the tournament, which will have a round in Luton on March 28 before a grand final in Norwich on April 25, following the death of his father to cancer.

As previously reported Gerry Davies, 66, from Horsford, lost his battle with lung cancer in December last year. His wife Jane had heard about the BRF and decided to donate a collection from his funeral to the charity.

Mr Davies said: “I run five-a-side football tournaments for a living. It's something I do on a daily basis, but this is something that's close to my heart.

“It's a wonderful cause and I know my dad would've been proud to know that donations from his funeral were going towards that charity and helping to promote it for other men. He really liked his football and my mum said the football tournament would be quite relevant. I think that would've really made him proud.”

Each of the six teams taking part at rounds at Peterborough on Sunday, Luton and Norwich on Sunday, March 28, will pay £30 each to take part before a grand final in the city on Sunday, April 25 where teams will pay £10 each.

At each of the rounds, and the final itself, there will also be bucket collections all of which should help raise hundreds of pounds in aid of the charity.

Mr Davies said all the round winners will get medals although he has not yet managed to secure a prize for the overall tournament winners. He said he hoped a company in Norwich might be able to come forward with ideas for something suitable.

Mr Lacey, a freelance media solutions consultant, said: “I am just blown away with the tremendous support the prospective BRF is getting from the Davies family.

“Firstly with the wonderful gesture made by Jane Davies in memory of her late husband Gerry, and now young Jez is just oozing enthusiasm for this new 5-a-side tournament. All these efforts will one day benefit so many people whose lives may become affected by cancer.”

A concert is to be held at the University of East Anglia's LCR on Friday, April 16 from 7.30pm in aid of the BRF with Hollow Earth and The Harvs appearing live. Every penny from the event will be donated to the launch of the charity.

Are you recovering after a battle with cancer? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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